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Philosophy and Opinions of 
Marcus Garvey 

edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 

Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

Dedicated to the true and loyal members of 
the Universal Negro Improvement Association 
in the cause of African redemption. 


This volume is compiled from the speeches and articles delivered and written by Marcus Garvey 
from time to time. 

My purpose for compiling same primarily, was not for publication, but rather to keep as a 
personal record of the opinions and sayings of my husband during his career as the leader of that 
portion of the human family known as the Negro race. However, on second thought, I decided to 
publish this volume in order to give to the public an opportunity of studying and forming an 
opinion of him; not from inflated and misleading newspaper and magazine articles, but from 
expressions of thoughts enunciated by him in defense of his oppressed and struggling race; so 
that by his own words he may be judged, and Negroes the world over may be informed and 
inspired, for truth, brought to light, forces conviction, and a state of conviction inspires action. 
The history of contact between the white and Black races for the last three hundred years or 
more, records only a series of pillages, wholesale murders, atrocious brutalities, industrial 
exploitation, disfranchisement of the one on the other; the strong against the weak; but the sun of 
evolution is gradually rising, shedding its light between the clouds of misery and oppression, and 
quickening and animating to racial consciousness and eventual national independence Black men 
and women the world over. 

It is human, therefore, that few of us within the Negro race can comprehend this transcendent 
period. We all suffer in a more or less degree; we all feel this awakened spirit of true manhood 
and womanhood; but it is given to few the vision of leadership; it is an inspiration; it is a quality 
born in man. Therefore in the course of leadership it is natural that one should meet opposition 
because of ignorance, lack of knowledge and sympathy of the opposition in understanding fully 
the spirit of leadership. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

With the dawn of this new era, which precedes the day of national independence for Negroes, it 
is well for all members of the race to understand their leadership; know what its essentials, its 
principles are, and help it to attain its goal and liberate a race in the truest sense of the word. 

In Chapter 1 of this volume I have endeavored to place before my reader's gems of expression 
convincing in their truths. Chapter 2 deals with definitions and expositions of various interesting 
themes. Chapters 3 and 4 contain a collection of brief essays on subjects affecting world 
conditions generally and Negroes in particular. In Chapter 5 I have reproduced what I consider 
two of the best speeches of my husband. It is my sincere hope and desire that this small volume 
will help to disseminate among the members of my race everywhere the true knowledge of their 
past history, the struggles and strivings of the present leadership, and the glorious future of 
national independence in a free and redeemed Africa, achieved through organized purpose and 
organized action. 

Amy Jacques -Garvey 
New York City 
February, 23, 1923 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

Chapter I 

History is the landmark by which we are directed into the true course of life. The history of a 
movement, the history of a nation, the history of a race is the guide-post of that movement's 
destiny, that nation's destiny, that race's destiny. What you do today that is worthwhile, inspires 
others to act at some future time. 

Chance has never yet satisfied the hope of a suffering people. Action, self-reliance, the vision of 
self and the future have been the only means by which the oppressed have seen and realized the 
light of their own freedom. 

Life is that existence that is given to man to live for a purpose, to live to his own satisfaction and 
pleasure, providing he forgets not the God who created him and who expects a spiritual 
obedience and observation of the moral laws that He has inspired. 

There is nothing in the world common to man, that man cannot do. 

The ends you serve that are selfish will take you no further than yourself; but the ends you serve 
that are for all, in common, will take you even into eternity. 

It is only the belief and the confidence we have in a God why man is able to understand his own 
social institutions, and move and live like a rational human being. Take away the highest ideal: 
faith and confidence in a God, and mankind at large is reduced to savagery and the race 

A race without authority and power, is a race without respect. 

Criticism is an opinion for good or ill, generally indulged in by the fellow who knows more than 
anyone else, yet the biggest fool. There is no criticism that calls not forth yet another. The last 
critic is the biggest fool of all, for the world starts and ends with him. He is the source of all 
knowledge, yet knows nothing, for there is not a word one finds to use that there is not another 
that hath the same meaning, then wherefore do we criticize? 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

Fear is a state of nervousness fit for children and not men. When man fears a creature like 
himself he offends God, in whose image and likeness he is created. Man being created equal 
fears not man but God. To fear is to lose control of one's nerves; one's will, to flutter, like a dying 
fowl, losing consciousness, yet alive. 

Ambition is the desire to go forward and improve one's condition. It is a burning flame that lights 
up the life of the individual and makes him see himself in another state. To be ambitious is to be 
great in mind and soul; to want that which is worthwhile and strive for it; and to go on without 
looking back, reaching to that which gives satisfaction. To be humanly ambitious is to take in the 
world which is the province of man; to be divinely ambitious is to offend God by rivaling him in 
His infinite majesty. 

Admiration is a form of appreciation that is sometimes mistaken for something else. There may 
be something about you that suggests good fellowship when kept at a distance, but in closer 
contact would not be tolerated, otherwise it would be love. 

Religion is one's opinion and belief in some ethical truth. To be a Christian is to have the religion 
of Christ, and so to be a believer of Mohammed is to be a Mohammedan but there are so many 
religions that every man seems to be a religion unto himself. No two persons think alike, even if 
they outwardly profess the same faith, so we have as many religions in Christianity as we have 

Death is the end of all life in the individual or the thing; if physical, the crumbling of the body 
into dust from whence it came. He, who lives not uprightly, dies completely in the crumbling of 
the physical body, but he who lives well, transforms himself from that which is mortal, to 

Faithfulness is actuated by a state of heart and mind in the individual that changes not. No one is 
wholly faithful to a cause or an object, except his heart and mind remain firm without change or 
doubt. If one's attitude or conduct changes toward an object, then one has lost in one's 
faithfulness. It is a wholeness of belief overshadowing all suspicion, all doubt, admitting of no 
question; to serve without regret or disgust, to obligate one's self to that which is promised Or 
expected, to keep to our word and do our duty well. There are but few faithful people now-a- 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

Prohibition is to abstain from intoxicating liquor, as it makes us morbid and sometimes drunk. 
But we get drunk every day, nevertheless, not so much by the strength of what we sip from the 
cup, but that which we eat, the water we drink, and the air we inhale, which at fermentation 
conspire at eventide to make us so drunk and tired that we lose control of ourselves and fall 
asleep. Everybody is a drunkard, and if we were to enforce real prohibition we should all be 

There is no strength but that which is destructive, because man has lost his virtues, and only 
respects force, which he himself cannot counteract. This is the day of racial activity, when each 
and every group of this great human family must exercise its own initiative and influence in its 
own protection, therefore, Negroes should be more determined to-day than they have ever been, 
because the mighty forces of the world are operating against non-organized groups of peoples, 
who are not ambitious enough to protect their own interests. 

Wake up Ethiopia! Wake up Africa! Let us work towards the one glorious end of a free, 
redeemed and mighty nation. Let Africa be a bright star among the constellation of nations. 

A man's bread and butter is only insured when he works for it. 

The world has now reached the stage when humanity is really at the parting of the ways. It is a 
question of "Man Mind Thyself." 

The political readjustment of the world means that those who are not sufficiently able, not 
sufficiently prepared, will be at the mercy of the organized classes for another one or two 
hundred years. 

The only protection against injustice in man is power: physical, financial and scientific. 

The masses make the nation and the race. If the masses are illiterate, that is the judgment passed 
on the race by those who are critical of its existence. 

The function of the Press is public service without prejudice or partiality, to convey the truth as it 
is seen and understood without favoritism or bias. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

Education is the medium by which a people are prepared for the creation of their own particular 
civilization, and the advancement and glory of their own race. 

Nationhood is the only means by which modern civilization can completely protect itself. 
Independence of nationality, independence of government, is the means of protecting not only 
the individual, but the group. Nationhood is the highest ideal of all peoples. 

The evolutionary scale that weighs nations and races, balances alike for all peoples; hence we 
feel sure that someday the balance will register a change for the Negro. 

If we are to believe the divine injunction, we must realize that the time is coming when every 
man and every race must return to its own "vine and fig tree." 

Let Africa be our guiding star: our star of destiny. 

So many of us find excuses to get out of the Negro race, because we are led to believe that the 
race is unworthy, and that it has not accomplished anything. Cowards that we are! It is we who 
are unworthy, because we are not contributing to the uplift and up-building of this noble race. 

How dare anyone tell us that Africa cannot be redeemed, when we have 400,000,000 men and 
women with warm blood coursing through their veins? The power that holds Africa is not divine. 
The power that holds Africa is human, and it is recognized that whatsoever man has done, man 
can do. 

We of the Negro race are moving from one state of organization to another, and we shall so 
continue until we have thoroughly lifted ourselves into the organization of government. 

Be as proud of your race today as our fathers were in the days of yore. We have a beautiful 
history, and we shall create another in the future that will astonish the world. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 


What the night is to the day, is woman to man. The period of change that brings us light out of 
darkness, darkness out of light, and semi-light out of darkness are like the changes we find in 
woman day by day. She makes one happy, then miserable. You are to her kind, then unkind. 
Constant yet inconstant. Thus we have woman. No real man can do without her. 


A happy but miserable state in which man finds himself from time to time; sometimes he 
believes he is happy by loving, then suddenly he finds how miserable he is. It is all joy, it 
sweetens life, but it does not last. It comes and goes, but when it is active, there is no greater 
virtue, because it makes one supremely happy. We cannot hold our love, but there is one love 
that never change or is mistaken, and that is God's. The longer we hold our love, the nearer we 
approach like unto our Creator. 

The whole world is run on bluff. No race, no nation, no man has any divine right to take 
advantage of others. Why allow the other fellow to bluff you? 

Every student of political science, every student of economics knows that the race can only be 
saved through a solid industrial foundation; and that the race can only be saved through political 
independence. Take away industry from a race; take away political freedom from a race, and you 
have a group of slaves. Peoples everywhere are travelling toward industrial opportunities and 
greater political freedom. As a race oppressed, it is for us to prepare ourselves that at any time 
the great change in industrial freedom and political liberty comes about, we may be able to enter 
into the new era as partakers of the joys to be inherited. 

Lagging behind in the van of civilization will not prove our higher abilities. Being subservient to 
the will and caprice of progressive races will not prove anything superior in us. Being satisfied to 
drink of the dregs from the cup of human progress will not demonstrate our fitness as a people to 
exist alongside of others, but when of our own initiative we strike out to build industries, 
governments, and ultimately empires, then and only then will we as a race prove to our Creator 
and to man in general that we are fit to survive and capable of shaping our own destiny. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

The world ought to know that it could not keep 400,000,000 Negroes down forever. 
There is always a turning point in the destiny of every race, every nation, of all peoples, and we 
have come now to the turning point of the Negro, where we have changed from the old cringing 
weakling, and transformed into full-grown men, demanding our portion as men. 

I am not one of those Christians who believe that the Bible can solve all the problems of 
humanity. The Bible is good in its place, but we are men. We are the creatures of God. We have 
sinned against Him; therefore it takes more than the Bible to keep us in our places. 
Man is becoming so vile that to-day we cannot afford to convert him with moral, ethical, 
physical truths alone, but with that which is more effective — implements of destruction. 

Leadership means everything: pain, blood, death. 

To be prosperous in whatever we do is the sign of true wealth. We may be wealthy in not only 
having money, but in spirit and health. It is the most helpful agency toward a self-satisfying life. 
One lives, in an age like this, nearer perfection by being wealthy than by being poor. To the 
contended soul, wealth is the stepping stone to perfection; to the miser it is the nearest avenue to 
hell. I would prefer to be honestly wealthy, than miserably poor. 

To be free from temptation of other people's properly is to reflect the honesty of our own souls. 
There are but few really honest people, in that between the thought and the deed we make 
ourselves dishonest. The fellow who steals, acts dishonestly. We can steal in thought as well as 
in deed, therefore to be honest is a virtue that but few indulge. To be honest is to be satisfied, 
having all, wanting nothing. If you find yourself in such a state then you are honest, if not the 
temptation of your soul is bound to make you dishonest. This applies to the king and the peasant 

All peoples are struggling to blast a way through the industrial monopoly of races and nations, 
but the Negro as a whole has failed to grasp its true significance and seems to delight in filling 
only that place created for him by the white man. 

The Negro who lives on the patronage of philanthropists is the most dangerous member of our 
society, because he is willing to turn back the clock of progress when his benefactors ask him so 
to do. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

No race in the world is so just as to give others, for the asking, a square deal in things economic, 
political and social. 

Men who are in earnest are not afraid of consequences. 

No one knows when the hour of Africa's redemption cometh. It is in the wind. It is coming. One 
day, like a storm, it will be here. When that day comes all Africa will stand together. 

Any sane man, race or nation that desires freedom must first of all think in terms of blood. Why, 
even the Heavenly Father tells us that "without the shedding of blood there can be no remission 
of sins?" Then how in the name of God, with history before us, do we expect to redeem Africa 
without preparing ourselves, some of us to die. 

I pray God that we shall never use our physical prowess to oppress the human race, but we will 
use our strength, physically, morally and otherwise to preserve humanity and civilization. 

For over three hundred years the white man has been our oppressor, and he naturally is not going 
to liberate us to the higher freedom, the truer liberty, and the truer democracy. We have to 
liberate ourselves. 

Every man has a right to his own opinion. Every race has a right to its own action; therefore let 
no man persuade you against your will, let no other race influence you against your own. 

The greatest weapon used against the Negro is disorganization. 

If you have no confidence in self you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence you 
have won even before you have started. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

At no time within the last five hundred years can one point to a single instance of the Negro as a 
race of haters. The Negro has loved even under severest punishment. In slavery the Negro loved 
his master, he safe-guarded his home even when he further planned to enslave him. We are not a 
race of haters, but lovers of humanity's cause. 

Mob violence and injustice have never helped a race or a nation, and because of this knowledge 
as gathered from the events of ages, we as a people in this new age desire to love all mankind, 
not in the social sense, but in keeping with the divine injunction "Man Love Thy Brother." 

Preparedness is the watch-word of this age. For us as a race to remain, as we have been in the 
past, divided among ourselves, parochialtizing, insularizing and nationalizing our activities as 
subjects and citizens of the many alien races and governments under which we live — is but to 
hold ourselves in readiness for that great catastrophe that is bound to come — that of racial 
extermination, at the hands of the stronger race — the race that will be fit to survive. 

Humanity takes revenging crime from one age to the next, according to the growth and 
development of the race so afflicted. But the perpetuation of crime through revenge and 
retaliation will not save the human race. 

Europe is bankrupt today, and every nation within her bounds is endeavoring to find new 
openings, new fields for exploitation — that exploitation that will bring to them the resources, the 
revenue and the power necessary for their rehabilitation and well-being. We are living in a 
strenuous, active age, when men see, not through the spectacles of sympathy, but demand that 
each and every one measures up in proportion to the world's demand for service. 

The attitude of the white race is to subjugate, to exploit, and if necessary exterminate the weaker 
peoples with whom they come in contact. They subjugate first, if the weaker peoples will stand 
for it; then exploit, and if they will not stand for subjugation nor exploitation, the other recourse 
is extermination. 

If the Negro is not careful he will drink in all the poison of modem civilization and die from the 
effects of it. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

There can be no peace among men and nations, so long as the strong continues to oppress the 
weak, so long as injustice is done to other peoples, just so long will we have cause for war, and 
make a lasting peace an impossibility. 

Hungry men have no respect for law, authority or human life. 

I am not opposed to the white race as charged by my enemies. I have no time to hate anyone. All 
my time is devoted to the up-building and development of the Negro race. 

When nations outgrow their national limits, they make war and conquer other people's territory 
so as to have an outlet for their surplus populations. 

The world does not count races and nations that have nothing. 

Point me to a weak nation and I will show you a people oppressed, abused, taken advantage of 
by others. Show me a weak race and I will show you a people reduced to serfdom, peonage and 
slavery. Show me a well organized nation, and I will show you a people and a nation respected 
by the world. 

The battles of the future, whether they be physical or mental, will be fought on scientific lines, 
and the race that is able to produce the highest scientific development, is the race that will 
ultimately rule. 

Let us prepare today. For the tomorrows in the lives of the nations will be so eventful that 
Negroes everywhere will be called upon to play their part in the survival of the fittest human 

Let us in shaping our own destiny set before us the qualities of human justice, love, charity, 
mercy and equity. Upon such foundation let us build a race, and I feel that the God who is divine, 
the almighty Creator of the world, shall forever bless this race of ours, and who to tell that we 
shall not teach men the way to life, liberty and true human happiness? 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

Day by day we hear the cry of "Africa for the Africans." This cry has become a positive, 
determined one. It is a cry that is raised simultaneously the world over, because of the universal 
oppression that affects the Negro. 

All of us may not live to see the higher accomplishment of an African Empire: so strong and 
powerful, as to compel the respect of mankind, but we in our lifetime can so work and act as to 
make the dream a possibility within another generation. 

Chapter II 


We are living in a civilization that is highly developed. We are living in a world that is 
scientifically arranged in which everything done by those who control is done through system; 
proper arrangement, proper organization, and among some of the organized methods used to 
control the world is the thing known and called "propaganda." 

Propaganda has done more to defeat the good intentions of races and nations than even open 

Propaganda is a method or medium used by organized peoples to convert others against their 

We of the Negro race are suffering more than any other race in the world from propaganda — 
Propaganda to destroy our hopes, our ambitions and our confidence in self. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 


Slavery is a condition imposed upon individuals or races not sufficiently able to protect or 
defend themselves, and so long as a race or people expose themselves to the danger of being 
weak, no one can tell when they will be reduced to slavery. 

When a man is a slave he has no liberty of action; no freedom of will, he is bound and controlled 
by the will and act of others; as of the individual, so of the race. 

Slavery is not a condition confined to anyone age or race of people. Slavery has been since man 
in the different distribution of himself, scattered here, there and everywhere, has grown and 
developed, wherein one race will become strong and the other race remains weak. The strong 
race has always reduced the weak to slavery. It has been so in ages past, it is so now in certain 
parts of the world, and will be so until the end of time. 

The great British nation was once a race of slaves. In their own country they were not respected 
because the Romans went there, brutalized and captured them, took them over to Rome and kept 
them in slavery. They were not respected in Rome because they were regarded as a slave race. 
But the Briton did not always remain a slave. As a freed man he went back to his country 
(Britain) and built up a civilization of his own, and by his self-reliance and initiative he forced 
the respect of mankind and maintains it until today. 


The powers opposed to Negro progress will not be influenced in the slightest by mere verbal 
protests on our part. They realize only too well that protests of this kind contain nothing but the 
breath expended in making them. 

They also realize that their success in enslaving and dominating the darker portion of humanity 
was due solely to the element of force employed (in the majority of cases this was accomplished 
by force of arms.) 

Pressure of course may assert itself in other forms, but in the last analysis whatever influence is 
brought to bear against the powers opposed to Negro progress must contain the element of force 
in order to accomplish its purpose, since it is apparent that this is the only element they 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 


To be learned in all that is worthwhile knowing. Not to be crammed with the subject matter of 
the book or the philosophy of the class room, but to store away in your head such facts as you 
need for the daily application of life, so that you may the better in all things understand your 
fellowmen, and interpret your relationship to your Creator. 

You can be educated in soul, vision and feeling, as well as in mind. To see your enemy and know 
him is a part of the complete education of man; to spiritually regulate one's self is another form 
of the higher education that fits man for a nobler place in life, and still, to approach your brother 
by the feeling of your own humanity, is an education that softens the ills of the world and makes 
us kind indeed. 

Many a man was educated outside the school room. It is something you let out, not completely 
take in. You are part of it, for it is natural; it is dormant simply because you will not develop it, 
but God creates every man with it knowingly or unknowingly to him who possesses it, that's the 
difference. Develop yours and you become as great and full of knowledge as the other fellow 
without even entering the class room. 


Some of the men of the Negro race aggravate the race question because they force the white man 
to conclude that to educate a black man, to give him opportunities, is but to fit him to be a 
competitor for the hand of his woman; hence the eternal race question. 
But not all black men are willing to commit race suicide and to abhor their race for the 
companionship of another. There are hundreds of millions of us black men who are proud of our 
skins and to us the African Empire will not be a Utopia, neither will it be dangerous nor fail to 
serve our best interests, because we realize that like the leopard we cannot change our skins. 
The men of the highest morals, highest character and noblest pride are to be found among the 
masses of the Negro race who love their women with as much devotion as white men love theirs. 


Prejudice of the white race against the black race is not so much because of color as of condition; 
because as a race, to them, we have accomplished nothing; we have built no nation, no 
government; because we are dependent for our economic and political existence. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

You can never curb the prejudice of the one race or nation against the other by law. It must be 
regulated by one's own feeling, one's own will, and if one's feeling and will rebel against you no 
law in the world can curb it. 

Prejudice can be actuated by different reasons. Sometimes the reason is economic, and 
sometimes political. You can only obstruct it by progress and force. 


"Radical" is a label that is always applied to people who are endeavoring to get freedom. Jesus 
Christ was the greatest radical the world ever saw. He came and saw a world of sin and his 
program was to inspire it with spiritual feeling. He was therefore a radical. George Washington 
was dubbed a radical when he took up his sword to fight his way to liberty in America one 
hundred and forty years ago. All men who call themselves reformers are perforce radicals. They 
cannot be anything else, because they are revolting against the conditions that exist. Conditions 
as they exist reveal a conservative state, and if you desire to change these conditions you must be 
a radical. I am, therefore, satisfied to be the same kind of radical, if through radicalism I can free 


Government is not infallible. Government is only an executive control, a centralized authority for 
the purpose of expressing the will of the people. 

Before you have a government you must have the people. Without the people there can be no 
government. The government must be, therefore, an expression of the will of the people. 

Evolution and the Result 

Evolution bring us changes that sometimes make us fail to recognize ourselves even after a lapse 
of centuries. When the great white race of today had no civilization of its own, when white men 
lived in caves and were counted as savages, this race of ours boasted of a wonderful civilization 
on the banks of the Nile. 

It may sound good for some Negroes to say that they were born here or there, and they do not 
intend to go anywhere else but where they saw the light of day. But let me say to you men, the 
world is small and humanity in the many and various race groups, is growing larger every day. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

A race that was ten millions fifty years ago is today sixty millions. A race that was thirty millions 
fifty years ago is today ninety millions; how many will they be tomorrow and the world is not 
growing larger? 

What will happen through the multiplication of all these various race groups, of those who are in 
power, of those who are strong, those who have at their command the forces of nature, through 
which they can exploit the weak and ultimately exterminate them? What will happen to you, the 
weak and unprepared, when the strong becomes more numerous even though the world remains 
at its present size? 

Ah, if you will but think down the future and compare the possibilities of that future with the 
happenings of the past you will come to the conclusion that there is no other salvation for the 
Negro but through a free and independent Africa. 

Whilst geographically speaking the world has ever been in its natural divisions as we know it, 
and see it, yet, politically speaking, the world has changed, and is still changing. Yesterday we 
had the Roman empire, we had the Grecian empire, we had even before the Carthaginian, the 
Assyrian and the Babylonian empires. What has become of them? They have gone into the 
oblivion of the past, because of human progress, because of the development of certain races as 
against the stagnation of others; but even yesterday we also had the great German empire; we 
had the Russian empire; we had the empire of Austria and Hungary. Where are they now? They 
too, are travelling toward the oblivion of the past. Today we have the great French empire, the 
British empire and other great commonwealths. Will they stand? 

Ah, I think not, because evolution and human progress bring changes, and in the changes no man 
can tell what will happen tomorrow as against what exists today. Therefore, I say to the four 
hundred million Negroes of the world, prepare yourselves for the higher life, the life of liberty, 
industrially, educationally, socially and politically. 


A hellish state to be in. It is no virtue. It is a crime. To be poor, is to be hungry without possible 
hope of food; to be sick without hope of medicine; to be tired and sleepy without a place to lay 
one's head; to be naked without the hope of clothing; to be despised and comfortless. To be poor 
is to be a fit subject for crime and hell. The hungry man steals bread and thereby breaks the 
eighth commandment; by his state he breaks all the laws of God and man and becomes an 
outcast. In thought and deed he covets his neighbor's goods; comfortless as he is he seeks his 
neighbor's wife; to him there is no other course but sin and death. That is the way of poverty. No 
one wants to be poor. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 


Power is the only argument that satisfies man. 

Except the individual, the race or the nation has POWER that is exclusive; it means that that 
individual, race or nation will be bound by the will of the other who possesses this great 

It is the physical and pugilistic power of Harry Wills that makes white men afraid to fight him. 
It was the industrial and scientific power of the Teutonic race that kept it for years as dictator of 
the economic and scientific policies of Europe. 

It is the naval and political power of Great Britain that keeps her mistress of the seas. 

It is the commercial and financial power of the United States of America that makes her the 
greatest banker in the world. Hence it is advisable for the Negro to get power of every kind. 

Power in education, science, industry, politics and higher government. That kind of power that 
will stand out signally, so that other races and nations can see, and if they will not see, then feel. 

Man is not satisfied or moved by prayers or petitions, but every man is moved by that power of 
authority which forces him to do even against his will. 

Universal Suspicion 

Humanity everywhere is struggling toward political freedom and economic opportunity. In this 
struggle we are confronted with the rivalry of the keenest minds of the age; each race and nation 
seeking to present its best to the world. 

So much is expected of each by the different rivals, that it becomes impossible to reach an 
amicable settlement and to establish universal confidence. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

It can be plainly seen that no one race or nation trusts the other. There is a Universal Suspicion 
that hovers over the conduct of every great leader representative of his race or nation. It is this 
suspicion that limited the Washington four pact treaty; it is this suspicion that caused the failure 
of the Genoa Conference; it is this suspicion that is going to wreck ultimately many of the 
nations and empires of today, thereby throwing into obscurity many of the races that now 
dominate the affairs of men. We as a race, are called upon to play our part, and we must do it 
well. In the spread of this universal suspicion that causes nation to distrust nation, and race to 
distrust race, we also have our distrust which makes it impossible for us to believe in anyone else 
but ourselves. 

Dissertation on Man 

Man is the individual who is able to shape his own character, master his own will, direct his own 
life and shape his own ends. 

When God breathed into the nostrils of man the breath of life, he made him a living soul, and 
bestowed upon him the authority of "Lord of Creation," He never intended that that individual 
should descend to the level of a peon, a serf, or a slave, but that he should be always man in the 
fullest possession of his senses, and with the truest knowledge of himself. But how changed has 
man become since creation?" We find him today divided into different classes — the helpless 
imbecile, the dependent slave, the servant and the master. These different classes God never 
created. He created man. But this individual has so retrograded, as to make it impossible to find 
him — a real man. 

As far as the Negro race is concerned, we can find but few real men to measure up to the higher 
purpose of the creation, and because of this lack of manhood in the race, we have stagnated for 
centuries and now find ourselves at the foot of the great human ladder. 

After the creation, and after man was given possession of the world, the Creator relinquished all 
authority to his lord, except that which was spiritual. All that authority which meant the 
regulation of human affairs, human society, and human happiness was given to man by the 
Creator, and man, therefore, became master of his own destiny, and architect of his own fate. 
In process of time we find that only a certain type of man has been able to make good in God's 
creation. We find them building nations, governments and empires, as also great monuments of 
commerce, industry and education (these men realizing the power given them exerted every bit 
of it to their own good and to their posterity's) while, on the other hand, 400,000,000 Negroes 
who claim the common Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man, have fallen back so 
completely, as to make us today the serfs and slaves of those who fully know themselves and 
have taken control of the world, which was given to all in common by the Creator. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

I desire to impress upon the 400,000,000 members of my race that our failings in the past, 
present and of the future will be through our failures to know ourselves and to realize the true 
functions of man on this mundane sphere. 

Race Assimilation 

Some Negro leaders have advanced the belief that in another few years the white people will 
make up their minds to assimilate their black populations; thereby sinking all racial prejudice in 
the welcoming of the black race into the social companionship of the white. Such leaders further 
believe that by the amalgamation of black and white, a new type will spring up, and that type 
will become the American and West Indian of the future. This belief is preposterous. I believe 
that white men should be white, yellow men should be yellow, and black men should be black in 
the great panorama of races, until each and every race by its own initiative lifts itself up to the 
common standard of humanity, as to compel the respect and appreciation of all, and so make it 
possible for each one to stretch out the hand of welcome without being able to be prejudiced 
against the other because of any inferior and unfortunate condition. 

The white man of America will not, to any organized extent, assimilate the Negro, because in so 
doing, he feels that he will be committing racial suicide. This he is not prepared to do. It is true 
he illegitimately carries on a system of assimilation; but such assimilation, as practiced, is one 
that he is not prepared to support because he becomes prejudiced against his own offspring, if 
that offspring is the product of black and white; hence, to the white man the question of racial 
differences is eternal. So long as Negroes occupy an inferior position among the races and 
nations of the world, just so long will others be prejudiced against them, because it will be 
profitable for them to keep up their system of superiority. But when the Negro by his own 
initiative lifts himself from his low state to the highest human standard he will be in a position to 
stop begging and praying, and demand a place that no individual, race or nation will be able to 
deny him. 


A form of religion practiced by the millions, but as misunderstood, and unreal to the majority as 
gravitation is to the untutored savage. We profess to live in the atmosphere of Christianity, yet 
our acts are as barbarous as if we never knew Christ. He taught us to love, yet we hate; to 
forgive, yet we revenge; to be merciful, yet we condemn and punish, and still we are Christians. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

If hell is what we are taught it is, then there will be more Christians there than days in all 
creation. To be a true Christian one must be like Christ and practice Christianity, not as the 
Bishop does, but as he says, for if our lives were to be patterned after the other fellow's all of us, 
Bishop, Priest and Layman would ultimately meet around the furnace of hell, and none of us, 
because of our sins, would see salvation. 

The Function of Man 

God placed man on earth as the lord of Creation. The elements — all nature are at his command — 
it is for him to harness them subdue them and use them. 

Edison harnessed electricity. Today the world reflects the brilliancy of his grand illumination. 
Stephenson, through experiments, has given us the use of the steam engine, and today the 
railroad train flies across the country at a speed of sixty miles an hour. 

Marconi conquered the currents of the air and today we have wireless telegraphy that flashes 
news across the continents with a rapidity never yet known to man. 

All this reveals to us that man is the supreme lord of creation, that in man lies the power of 
mastery, a mastery of self, a mastery of all things created, bowing only to the almighty architect 
in those things that are spiritual, in those things that are divine. 


In the fight to reach the top the oppressed have always been encumbered by the traitors of their 
own race, made up of those of little faith and those who are generally susceptible to bribery for 
the selling out of the rights of their own people. As Negroes, we are not entirely free of such an 
encumbrance. To be outspoken, I believe we are more encumbered in this way than any other 
race in the world, because of the lack of training and preparation for fitting us for our place in the 
world among nations and races. The traitor of other races is generally confined to the mediocre 
or irresponsible individual, but, unfortunately, the traitors among the Negro race are generally to 
be found among the men highest placed in education and society, the fellows who call 
themselves leaders. For us to examine ourselves thoroughly as a people we will find that we have 
more traitors than leaders, because nearly everyone who essays to lead the race at this time does 
so by first establishing himself as the pet of some philanthropist of another race, to whom he will 
go and debase his race in the worst form, humiliate his own manhood, and thereby win the 
sympathy of the "great benefactor", who will dictate to him what he should do in the leadership 
of the Negro race. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

It is generally "You must go out and teach your people to be meek and humble; tell them to be 
good servants, loyal and obedient to their masters. If you will teach them such a doctrine you can 
always depend on me to give you $1 ,000 a year or $5,000 a year for the support of yourself, the 
newspaper or the institution you represent. I will always recommend you to my friends as a good 
fellow who is all right," With this advice and prospect of patronage the average Negro leader 
goes out to lead the unfortunate mass. These leaders tell us how good Mr. So and So is, how 
many good friends we have in the opposite race, and that if we leave everything to them all will 
work out well. 

This is the kind of leadership we have been having for the last fifty years. It is nothing else but 
treachery and treason of the worst kind. The man who will compromise the attitude of his 
country is a traitor, and even so the man who will compromise the rights of his race can be 
classified in no other way than that of a traitor also. 

Not until we settle down as four hundred million people and let the men who have placed 
themselves in the lead of us realize that we are disgusted and dissatisfied, and that we shall have 
a leadership of our own and stick by it when we get it, will we be able to lift ourselves from this 
mire of degradation to the heights of prosperity, human liberty and human appreciation. 

Chapter III 

Present Day Civilization 

We are circumvented today by environments more dangerous than those which circumvented 
other peoples in any other age. We are face to face with environments in a civilization that is 
highly developed; a civilization that is competing with itself for its own destruction; a 
civilization that cannot last, because it has no spiritual foundation; a civilization that is vicious, 
crafty, dishonest, immoral, irreligious and corrupt. 

We see a small percentage of the world's populace feeling happy and contented with this 
civilization that man has evolved, and we see the masses of the human race on the other hand 
dissatisfied and discontented with the civilization of today — the arrangement of human society. 
Those masses are determined to destroy the systems that hold up such a society and prop such a 

As by indication, the fall will come. A fall that will cause the universal wreck of the civilization 
that we now see, and in this civilization the Negro is called upon to play his part. He is called 
upon to evolve a national ideal, based upon freedom, human liberty and true democracy. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

Divine Apportionment of Earth 

God Almighty created all men equal, whether they be white, yellow or black, and for any race to 
admit that it cannot do what others have done, is to hurl an insult at the Almighty who created all 
races equal, in the beginning. The white man has no right of way to this green earth, neither the 
yellow man. All of us were created lords of the creation, and whether we be white, yellow, 
brown or black nature intended a place for each and everyone. 

If Europe is for the white man, if Asia is for brown and yellow men, then surely Africa is for the 
black man. The great white man has fought for the preservation of Europe, the great yellow and 
brown races are fighting for the preservation of Asia, and four hundred million Negroes shall 
shed, if needs be, the last drop of their blood for the redemption of Africa and the emancipation 
of the race everywhere. 

Universal Unrest in 1922 

The human race is universally disturbed because of the many injustices inflicted upon the masses 
by the dominant powers. The privileged classes have for centuries dominated the will of the 
masses, and as it would appear, have ground out of the toiling millions the last drop of sweat. 
These millions are now in rebellion. They are striking everywhere — in England, France, 
Germany, America and other parts of the world. Those who are not on strike are shaking their 
fists in bloody revolution as a protest against the industrial and political systems of the day. 
In this big noise for world readjustment in the affairs of the human race, four hundred million 
Negroes cry out for better consideration and for justice. 

World Disarmament 

Present day statesmen are making the biggest blunder of the age if they believe that there can be 
any peace without equity and justice to all mankind. Any attempt at disarmament when half the 
world oppresses the other half is but a farce, because the oppressed will make their oppressors 
get armed sooner or later. 

Cause of Wars 

The world is not yet perfect. It is in chaos; yes, in confusion and out of this confusion will come 
many more upheavals that will shake its very foundation. Fool not yourselves that the 
conferences that have been held, and will be held in the future, are sufficient to settle the 
disgruntled state of the world, and the dissatisfied condition of humanity. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

They have not gone down to the root of all evils that give cause to the great discontent, they will 
never be able to establish a permanent peace and present to us a settled world. 

The history of the past teaches us that we have had many wars, each more deadly, each more 
catastrophic, and even as the war of 1914-18 was the most deadly we have experienced for ages, 
so in the very near future we shall see the most bloody conflict ever waged by man. Whether it is 
to be a war of the races or of the nations, no one can tell, but so long as this injustice continues; 
so long as the strong continues to oppress the weak; so long as the powerful nations arrange 
among themselves to oppress the weaker ones, and to keep the more unfortunate of humanity in 
serfdom, and to rob and exploit them, so long will the cause of war be fed with the fuel of 
revenge, of hatred, and of discontent. 

World Readjustment 

The political re-adjustment of the world means this — that every race must find a home; hence the 
great cry of Palestine for the Jews — Ireland for the Irish, — India for the Indians and 
simultaneously Negroes are raising the cry of "Africa for the Africans", those at home and those 
abroad. It is a cry for political re-adjustment along natural lines, and this re-adjustment has come 
out of the war of 1914-18, because, we, as Negroes, realize that if (with our knowledge and 
experience of western civilization) we allow the world to adjust itself politically without taking 
thought for ourselves, we would be lost to the world in another few decades. 

The Fall of Governments 

The fall of nations and empires has always come about first by the disorganized spirit, — the 
disorganized sentiment of those who make up the nation or the empire. The one class opposing, 
fighting against the other, the other class seeking to deprive them of the essentials of life which 
are necessary for the good and well-being of all. The class that ruled in the past and the class that 
rules now in government, are the people who have always provoked the spirit of those who are 
ruled. Hence you have social revolutions, civil strife, which ultimately result in the downfall of 
the empire or the nation. What has happened in the past will happen again. I am not attempting to 
prophesy the destruction of any of the now exiting empires or nations, but the empires and 
nations themselves are going to their own ruin. In Europe we hear of great industrial unrests. 
Laborers uniting themselves and marching to the representatives of governments asking for 
better conditions to alleviate their suffering. Instead of the representatives seeking to pacify and 
satisfy those who are in need, the representatives of such governments adopt a strong-armed 
policy to prosecute and persecute those who suffer and appeal for aid from the nation or the 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

What happens? The dissatisfied who are driven away by the majesty of the law, go back to those 
who suffer with them and scatter throughout the nation or the empire the spirit of dissatisfaction 
that ultimately breaks out in civil strife, social disorder, which in turn brings the downfall of the 
nation or the empire. 

People who rule (being selected by the masses of their own) forget when they come into power 
that they have an obligation to those who placed them in authority and through selfishness 
arrogate to themselves all that is good within the nation to the exclusion of those who suffer and 
to the exclusion of those who placed them in their positions of trust. Hence Monopoly — 
industrial, commercial and economic — which places power in the hands of the select few, and 
through the selfishness of administration by the few they cause the majority of the masses to 
exist always in want. Through this want, a spirit of dissatisfaction springs up among the people, 
and they, in their passion, seeking to correct the evil, tear down governments. 

Great Ideals Know No Nationality 

My enemies in America have done much to hold me up to public contempt and ridicule, but have 
failed. They believe that the only resort is to stir up national prejudice against me, in that I was 
not born within the borders of the United States of America. 

I am not in the least concerned about such propaganda, because I have travelled the length and 
breadth of America and I have discovered that among the fifteen million of my race, only those 
who have exploited and lived off the ignorance of the masses are concerned with where I was 
born. The masses of the people are looking for leadership; they desire sincere, honest guidance in 
racial affairs. As proof of this I may mention, that the largest number of members in the 
Universal Negro Improvement Association (of which I am President-General) are to be found in 
America, and are native born Americans. I know these people so well and I love them so well, 
that I would not for one minute think that they would fall for such an insidious propaganda. 
All intelligent people know that one's nationality has nothing to do with great ideals and great 
principles. If because I am a Jamaican the Negro should not accept the principle of race rights 
and liberty, or the ideal of a free and independent race; then you may well say that because Jesus 
was a Nazarene the outside world should not accept his doctrine of Christianity, because He was 
an "alien." 

Because Martin Luther was born in Germany, the world should not accept the doctrine of 

Protestantism. Because Alexander Hamilton and Lafayette were not born in America, Americans 

should not accept and appreciate the benefits they bestowed upon the nation. 

Because Marconi was an Italian, we of the new world should not make use of wireless 

telegraphy. Again I say, great principles, great ideals know no nationality. 

I know no national boundary where the Negro is concerned. The whole world is my province 

until Africa is free. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

Purpose of Creation 

The man or woman who has no confidence in self is an unfortunate being, and is really a misfit 
in creation. God Almighty created each and every one of us for a place in the world, and for the 
least of us to think that we were created only to be what we are and not what we can make 
ourselves is to impute an improper motive to the Creator for creating us. God Almighty created 
us all to be free. That the Negro race became a race of slaves was not the fault of God Almighty, 
the Divine Master, it was the fault of the race. Sloth, neglect, indifference caused us to be slaves. 
Confidence, conviction, action will cause us to be free men today. 

Purity of Race 

I believe in a pure black race just as how all self-respecting whites believe in a pure white race, 
as far as that can be. I am conscious of the fact that slavery brought upon us the curse of many 
colors within the Negro race, but that is no reason why we of ourselves should perpetuate the 
evil; hence instead of encouraging a wholesale bastardy in the race, we feel that we should now 
set out to create a race type and standard of our own which could not, in the future, be 
stigmatized by bastardy, but could be recognized and respected as the true race type anteceding 
even our own time. 

Man Know Thyself 

For man to know himself is for him to feel that for him there is no human master. For him Nature 
is his servant, and whatsoever he wills in Nature, that shall be his reward. If he wills to be a 
pigmy, a serf or a slave, that shall he be. If he wills to be a real man in possession of the things 
common to man, then he shall be his own sovereign. 

When man fails to grasp his authority he sinks to the level of the lower animals, and whatsoever 
the real man bids him do, even as if it were of the lower animals, that much shall he do. If he 
says "go." He goes. If he says "come," he comes. By this command he performs the functions of 
life even as by a similar command the mule, the horse, the cow performs the will of their 
masters. For the last four hundred years the Negro has been in the position of being commanded 
even as the lower animals are controlled. Our race has been without a will; without a purpose of 
its own, for all this length of time. Because of that we have developed few men who are able to 
understand the strenuousness of the age in which we live. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

Where can we find in this race of ours real men? Men of character, men of purpose, men of 
confidence, men of faith, men who really know themselves? I have come across so many 
weaklings who profess to be leaders, and in the test I have found them but the slaves of a nobler 
class. They perform the will of their masters without question. 

To me, a man has no master but God. Man in his authority is a sovereign lord. As for the 
individual man, so of the individual race. This feeling makes man so courageous, so bold, as to 
make it impossible for his brother to intrude upon his rights. So few of us can understand what it 
takes to make a man — the man who will never say die; the man who will never give up; the man 
who will never depend upon others to do for him what he ought to do for himself; the man who 
will not blame God, who will not blame Nature, who will not blame Fate for his condition; but 
the man who will go out and make conditions to suit himself. Oh, how disgusting life becomes 
when on every hand you hear people (who bear your image, who bear your resemblance) telling 
you that they cannot make it, that Fate is against them, that they cannot get a chance. If 
400,000,000 Negroes can only get to know themselves, to know that in them is a sovereign 
power, is an authority that is absolute, then in the next twenty-four hours we would have a new 
race, we would have a nation, an empire, resurrected, not from the will of others to see us rise, — 
but from our own determination to rise, irrespective of what the world thinks. 

A Solution for World Peace: 1922 

We hear a great deal of talk about world peace today. Wilson of America, Lloyd George of 
England, Clemenceau of France a few years ago prophesied at Versailles a reign of peace. Up to 
the present many of the leading statesmen of the world have pledged themselves to a program of 
world peace. Many conferences have been held (political as well as industrial) for the purpose of 
settling the question of peace; but up to now none of them has laid the foundation for a real 
peace, for a lasting peace. The peace of the world cannot be settled by political conferences, or 
by industrial conferences only. If we are to have a world peace it will only come when a great 
inter-racial conference is called. When Jew will meet Gentile; when Anglo-Saxon will meet 
Teuton; when the great Caucasian family will meet the Mongolian, and when all will meet the 
Negro, and then and there straighten out the differences that have kept us apart for hundreds of 
years, and will continue to keep us apart until doom's day, if something is not done to create 
better racial understanding. If white men continue to exploit yellow men, if white men continue 
to exploit black and brown men, if yellow men continue to exploit brown and black men, then all 
we can look forward to is a reign of wars and rumors of wars. So long as Anglo-Saxons oppress 
Indians; so long as the French exploit the black race; so long as the Russian murders the Jew, so 
long will the cause for war be found, and so long will man continue to fight and kill his brother. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

If England wants peace, if France wants peace, I suggest to them to pack up their bag and 
baggage and clear out of Africa, because Africa in the future will be to them what Europe has 
been for the last three hundred years — a hot bed of wars, political intrigues and upheavals, — and 
Europe has changed many a time politically. Once the great Napoleon ruled, the Czars ruled and 
but recently the German Eagle was the symbol of fear. Today England stands out as the most 
brilliant star in the European political constellation. But what of tomorrow? Africa with her 
threatened upheaval will produce the same conditions in another century as Europe has done in 
the past. Can we not see that we are marching headlong into the abyss of eternal destruction? 
Can we not realize that we are not laying the foundation of peace? Can we not realize that we are 
but provoking the sleeping passions of the races? How long do you believe that four-hundred 
million Negroes will allow themselves to be exploited by alien races, robbed and murdered? Just 
so long until the truth is brought home to them, and then when the sleeping giant awakens, even 
like Samson, he may bring down the pillars of the temple. 

The war of 1 9 1 4- 1 8 has created a new sentiment throughout the world. Once upon a time weaker 
peoples were afraid of expressing themselves, of giving vent to their feelings, but today no 
oppressed race or nation is afraid of speaking out in the cause of liberty. Egypt has spoken, 
Ireland has spoken, Poland has spoken and Poland is free, Egypt is free, Ireland is also free. 
Africa is now speaking, and if for seven-hundred and fifty years Irishmen found perseverance 
enough to have carried the cause of freedom on and on until they won, then four hundred million 
Negroes are prepared to carry on the fight for African liberty even if it takes us to the seat of the 
Most High, yes if it takes us until judgment day, we shall fight the cause on and on without 
relenting. The world may scoff at us, the world may deride us, but there have been many 
surprises for the world before, and there will be many more. Englishmen scoffed at the Colonists 
when they agitated for independence in America, but their scoffs and derisions did not prevent 
George Washington from giving us the glorious Stars and Stripes. Men laughed at the 
propaganda of Tolstoi. The Czar himself impugned the idea of a more liberal Russia, but today 
Lenin and Trotsky rule. Yes, the Louis's laughed at the propaganda of the Liberals of France, but 
the French Monarchy is no more. Today Frenchmen take pride in the new democracy of France; 
so that others may laugh at us today because we are agitating the question of a free and 
independent Africa, but tomorrow, who knows, Africa will loom up as the greatest Republic in 
the world. 

God as a War Lord 

God is a bold Sovereign — A Warrior Lord. The God we worship and adore is a God of War as 
well as a God of Peace. He does not allow anything to interfere with His power and authority. 
The greatest battle ever fought was not between the Kaiser of Germany on the one hand and the 
Allied Powers on the other, it was between Almighty God on the one hand and Lucifer the 
Archangel on the other. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

When Lucifer challenged God's power in Heaven and marshaled his forces on the plains of 
Paradise, the God we worship and adore also marshaled His forces, His Archangels, His 
Cherubims and His Seraphims, and in battle array He placed Himself before them with the royal 
standard of Heaven. He faced the opposing general Lucifer with his hordes on the battle plains of 
Heaven and there the Great War began. The whole universe shook as the battle raged between 
the two opposing forces, and as God the Creator gained the upper hand of Lucifer, what did He 
do? Did He hoist the white flag of peace? No, God Almighty, God the Omnipotent took hold of 
Lucifer and flung him from the heights of Heaven to the depths of hell, thereby proving that He 
is a God of war as well as a God of peace. And when anyone transgresses His power He goes to 
war in defense of His rights. 

Man is only a little lower than the angels; the angels are only a little lower than the creator, but 
the Creator, has bequeathed to angels and to men the same principles, the same policies that 
govern Him as God. And even as he goes to war in defense of His rights, so man goes to war in 
defense of his rights. 

I believe with Napoleon. When someone asked him "On what side is God?" he replied. "God is 
on the side of the strongest battalion." Napoleon was right. He had a true concept of God. God is 
really on the side of the strongest peoples because God made all men equal and He never gave 
superior power to anyone class or group of people over another, and anyone who can get the 
advantage over another is pleasing God, because that is the servant who has taken care of God's 
command in exercising authority over the world. 

The Image of God 

If the white man has the idea of a white God, let him worship his God as he desires. If the yellow 
man's God is of his race let him worship his God as he sees fit. We, as Negroes, have found a 
new ideal. Whilst our God has no color, yet it is human to see everything through one's own 
spectacles, and since the white people have seen their God through white spectacles, we have 
only now started out (late though it be) to see our God through our own spectacles. The God of 
Isaac and the God of Jacob let Him exist for the race that believes in the God of Isaac and the 
God of Jacob. We Negroes believe in the God of Ethiopia, the everlasting God — God the Father, 
God the Son and God the Holy Ghost, the One God of all ages. That is the God in whom we 
believe, but we shall worship Him through the spectacles of Ethiopia. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

Chapter IV 

The Slave Trade 

Three hundred years ago no Negroes were to be found in this Western Hemisphere, we were to 
be found exclusively in Africa. Just about that time a large number of white people (called 
Colonists) settled in America. They desired laborers to help them in the country's development. 
They turned to Asia and were unable to use the yellow man. At that time a man named John 
Hawkins (afterwards knighted) asked permission of Queen Elizabeth of England to take the 
blacks from Africa into her colonies of America and the West Indies and use them in their 
development. The Queen asked, "what consideration will you give them?" Hawkins said "They 
will be civilized and Christianized in the Colonies, for in their own. Country they arc savages 
and barbarians." Under these pretenses the British Queen signed a charter empowering John 
Hawkins and others to remove from Africa millions of our fore -parents — men, women and 
children — who were sold in the slave markets of the Southern States of America and the West 
Indies. Parents were separated from children, husbands from wives. All scattered in this Western 
Hemisphere to work in the cotton fields of the Southern States of America and the sugar 
plantations of the West Indies. 

The Negroes who were sold in the West Indies remained as slaves for two hundred and thirty 
years and those sold in America for two hundred and fifty years. The West Indian Negroes were 
emancipated eighty five years ago by Queen Victoria of England, and the American Negroes 
fifty eight years ago by Abraham Lincoln. 

We — the Negroes in this Western Hemisphere are descendants of those Africans who were 
enslaved and transported to these shores, where they suffered, bled and died to make us what we 
are today — Civilized, Christian free men. Should we not, therefore, turn our eyes towards Africa, 
our ancestral home and free it from the thralldom of alien oppression and exploitation? 

Negroes' Status Under Alien Governments 

Within modern times the Negro race has not had any real statesmen, and the masses of our 
people have always accepted the intentions and actions of the statesmen and leaders of other 
races as being directed in our interest as a group in conjunction with the interests of others. Such 
a feeling on our part caused us to believe that the Constitution of the United States was written 
for Negroes, as well as the Constitutions of England, France, Italy, Germany and other countries 
where Negroes happen to have their present domicile, either as citizens or as subjects. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
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That we suffer so much today under whatsoever flag we live is proof positive that constitutions 
and laws, when framed by the early advocates of human liberty, never included and were never 
intended for us as a people. It is only a question of sheer accident that we happen to be fellow 
citizens today with the descendants of those who, through their advocacy, descendants laid the 
foundation for human rights. 

So this brings us to the point where, as a people, we can expect very little from the efforts of 
present day statesmen of other races, in that their plans, (as far as advantages to be derived there 
from are concerned) are laid only in the interests of their own people and not in the interest of 
Negroes; hence it is imperative that Negroes as a people evolve just at this time a statesmanship 
sufficiently able to cope with the designs and movements that are being made that will (except 
we prevent it) ultimately mean our doom and destruction. 

The Negro as an Industrial Make-Shift 

The Negro's prosperity today, limited as it is, is based upon the foundation laid by an alien race 
that is not disposed to go out of its way to prepare for the economic existence of anyone else but 
itself; therefore our present prosperity as far as employment goes, is purely accidental. It is as 
accidental to-day as it was during the war of 1914-18 when colored men were employed in 
different occupations, not because they were wanted, but because they were filling the places of 
men of other races who were not available at that time. Negroes are still filling places, and as 
time goes on and the age grows older our occupations will be gone from us, because those for 
whom we filled the places will soon appear, and as they do we shall gradually find our places 
among the millions of permanent unemployed. The thing for the Negro to do therefore, is to 
adjust his own economic present, in readiness for the future. 

A race that is solely dependent upon another for its economic existence sooner or later dies. As 
we have in the past been living upon the mercies shown us by others, and by the chances 
obtainable, and have suffered there from, so will we in the future suffer if an effort is not made 
now to adjust our own affairs. 

Lack of Co-operation in the Negro Race 

It is so hard, so difficult to find men who will stick to a purpose, who will maintain a principle 
for the worth of that principle, for the good of that purpose, and if there is a race that needs such 
men in the world today, God Almighty knows it is the race of which I am a member. 

The race needs men of vision and ability; men of character and above all men of honesty, and 
that is so hard to find. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
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The greatest stumbling block in the way of progress in the race has invariably come from within 
the race itself. The monkey wrench of destruction as thrown into the cog of Negro Progress is not 
thrown so much by the outsider as by the very fellow who is in our fold, and who should be the 
first to grease the wheel of progress rather than seeking to impede it. But notwithstanding the 
lack of sympathetic co-operation, I have one consolation — That I cannot get away from the race, 
and so long as I am in the race and since I have sense and judgment enough to know what affects 
the race affects me, it is my duty to help the race to clear itself of those things that affect us in 

White Man's Solution for the Negro Problem in America 

Immediately after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation in America, the white man 
started to think how he could solve the new problem of the Negro. He saw that the Negro could 
not be slaughtered by wholesale killing in that it would be a blot on American civilization; he 
therefore had to resort to some means of solving the problem, which meant the extinction of the 
Negro in America. The plan he decided on was as follows: 

"Now that America is undeveloped and we have but 34,000,000 in population (30,000,000 being 
white and 4,000,000 black) a number not large enough to develop the country as we want it, we 
will use the 4,000,000 blacks until we have built up the country, sufficiently and when we no 
longer need their labor, we will throw them off and let them starve economically and die of 
themselves, or emigrate elsewhere, we care not where. Then no one can accuse us of being 
inhuman to the Negro as we shall not have massacred him." 

A hearty welcome is extended to white people from all parts of the world to come to and settle in 
America. They come in by the thousands every month. Why? The idea is to build up a vast white 
population in America, so as to make the white people independent of Negro labor; thereby 
depriving them of the means of livelihood, the wherewithal to buy bread, which means that in a 
short while they will die of starvation. 

Those of us who study industrial conditions among the race must have noticed that Negroes in 
America have been thrown out of jobs that they occupied formerly, and their positions taken by 
European Immigrants. Now if the white people have not reached the apex of their intention 
industrially, as far as the development of the country is concerned, and they have exhibited such 
a degree of prejudice since they started their plan; how much more prejudiced will they not 
become in the next one hundred years when their population will be doubled by emigration and 
birthrate? This is the problem the Negro has to face in America. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
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The True Solution of The Negro Problem — 1922 

As far as Negroes are concerned, in America we have the problem of lynching, peonage and 
disfranchisement. In the West Indies, South and Central America we have the problem of 
peonage, serfdom, industrial and political governmental inequality. In Africa we have, not only 
peonage and serfdom, but outright slavery, racial exploitation and alien political monopoly. 
We cannot allow a continuation of these crimes against our race. As four hundred million men, 
women and children, worthy of the existence given us by the Divine Creator, we are determined 
to solve our own problem, by redeeming our Motherland Africa from the hands of alien 
exploiters and found there a government, a nation of our own, strong enough to lend protection 
to the members of our race scattered all over the world, and to compel the respect of the nations 
and races of the earth. 

Do they lynch Englishmen, Frenchmen, Germans or Japanese? No. And Why? Because these 
people are represented by great governments, mighty nations and empires, strongly organized. 
Yes, and ever ready to shed the last drop of blood and spend the last penny in the national 
treasury to protect the honor and integrity of a citizen outraged anywhere. Until the Negro 
reaches this point of national independence, all he does as a race will count for naught, because 
the prejudice that will stand out against him even with his ballot in his hand, with his industrial 
progress to show, will be of such an overwhelming nature as to perpetuate mob violence and 
mob rule, from which he will suffer, and which he will not be able to stop with his industrial 
wealth and with his ballot. 

You may argue that he can use his industrial wealth and his ballot to force the government to 
recognize him, but he must understand that the government is the people. That the majority of 
the people dictate the policy of governments, and if the majority is against a measure, a thing, or 
a race, then the government is impotent to protect that measure, thing or race. 

If the Negro were to live in this Western Hemisphere for another five hundred years he would 
still be outnumbered by other races who are prejudiced against him. He cannot resort to the 
government for protection for government will be in the hands of the majority of the people who 
are prejudiced against him, hence for the Negro to depend on the ballot and his industrial 
progress alone, will be hopeless as it does not help him when he is lynched, burned, Jim-crowed 
and segregated. The future of the Negro therefore, outside of Africa, spells ruin and disaster. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

White Propaganda About Africa 

This propaganda of disassociating Western Negroes from Africa is not a new one. For many 
years white propagandists have been printing tons of literature to impress scattered Ethiopia, 
especially that portion within their civilization, with the idea that Africa is a despised place, 
inhabited by savages, and cannibals, where no civilized human being should go, especially black 
civilized human beings. This propaganda is promulgated for the cause that is being realized 
today. That cause is colonial expansion for the white nations of the world. 

At the present time the world is not producing enough food to feed all its inhabitants. The strong 
are fed and the weak starve. That is why there are famines in certain countries, even though those 
countries produce certain things for human consumption. The strong go there and take the food 
and send it home just as how Great Britain and France go into Africa, take out the products and 
ship them away to feed Europeans and leave Africans to starve. The strong will always live at the 
expense of the weak. 

This rush for territory, this encroachment on lands, is only a desire of the strong races, especially 
the white race, to get hold of those portions and bits of land necessary for their economic 
existence, knowing well, that, in another two hundred years, there will not be enough supplies in 
the world for all of its inhabitants. The weaker peoples must die. At present Negroes are the 
weakest people and if we do not get power and strength now we shall be doomed to 

The Three Stages of the Negro in Contact with the White man 

I believe, as far as the Negro is concerned politically, that there are three stages relating to our 
contact with the white man: 

The First Stage in the life of the Negro in this Western Hemisphere was the stage when the white 
man shackled us in Africa and brought us here and kept us for two hundred and fifty years. 
During this period we worked and received no recompense, no pay for our labor, and we were 
satisfied because of the white man's Christian teaching "Learn to labor and to wait." 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

The Second Stage was the thing called Emancipation, which we have enjoyed for fifty-eight 
years. This stage came when they gave us partial freedom, and a petty existence by way of 
wages, and we were satisfied during that stage to do just what they told us to do. We worked for 
small wages and voted Republican Democratic and so forth, until after fifty-eight years we 
discovered that a change was necessary. 

Now we have entered into the Third Stage of our existence, wherein we say to the white man 
"After two hundred and fifty years of slavery and fifty eight years of partial freedom under your 
leadership we are going to try but fifty years under our own direction. This new stage calls for all 
the manhood within the race and means that we must throw off all the conditions that affected us 
in the first and second stages, and go out and do — acquit ourselves like men in the economic, 
industrial and political arena. 

Booker T. Washington 's Program 

The world held up the great Sage of Tuskegee — Booker T. Washington — as the only leader for 
the race. They looked forward to him and his teachings as the leadership for all times, not 
calculating that the industrially educated Negro would himself evolve a new ideal, after having 
been trained by the Sage of Tuskegee. 

The world satisfied itself to believe that succeeding Negro leaders would follow absolutely the 
teachings of Washington. Unfortunately the world is having a rude awakening, in that we are 
evolving a new ideal. The new ideal includes the program of Booker T. Washington and has 
gone much further. 

Things have changed wonderfully since Washington came on the scene. His vision was industrial 
opportunity for the Negro, but the Sage of Tuskegee has passed off the stage of life and left 
behind a new problem — a problem that must be solved, not by the industrial leader only, but by 
the political and military leaders as well. If Washington had lived he would have had to change 
his program. No leader can successfully lead this race of ours without giving an interpretation of 
the awakened spirit of the New Negro, who does not seek industrial opportunity alone, but a 
political voice. The world is amazed at the desire of the New Negro, for with his strong voice he 
is demanding a place in the affairs of the world. 

Belief that the Race Problem will adjust itself a Fallacy 

Some of our leaders in the Negro race flatter themselves into believing that the problem of black 
and white in America will work itself out, and that all the Negro has to do is to be humble, 
submissive and obedient, and everything will work out well in the "Sweet bye and bye". 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

But the keen student will observe this, that a terrible mistake was made between forty and fifty 
years ago when black men were elected to legislative assemblies all over the country, especially 
in the southern states and even at the National Capitol when representatives of this race occupied 
seats in Congress. The mistake was made as far as the white people were concerned. There was a 
state of disorganization in the Nation, and in that state certain things happened by mere chance. 
In the chance, dozens of black men became Senators and Congressmen. This opened up to the 
eyes of the white nation the possibility of the black man governing the white man in these United 
States of America — the possibility of the black man making laws to govern the white man? This 
possibility drove them almost to madness, in suddenly rejecting the spirit of the constitution and 
the Declaration of Lincoln that "all men are created equal", hence a determination was arrived at, 
that never again would it be possible for the race of slaves to govern the race of masters within 
these United States of America. 

Some of us believe that this slave race of ours will live in the United States of America and in the 
future again become law makers for the white race (our slave masters of sixty years ago). 
Nothing of the kind has happened in all human history. There is not one instance where a slave 
race living in the same country (within the same bounds as the race of masters that enslaved 
them and being in numbers less than the race of masters) has ever yet ruled and governed the 
masters. It has never been so in history, and it will never be so in the future. The hidden spirit of 
America is determined that it shall never be, caring not what hopes and promises we get. 
But history has recorded where a race of slaves through evolution, through progress, has risen to 
the heights where they ruled and dominated those who once enslaved them, but that race of 
slaves has always had to betake itself to other habitats (usually their own native land) and there, 
apart from those who once enslaved them, developed a power of their own, a strength of their 
own, and in the higher development of that strength, and of that power, they, like others, have 
made conquests, and the conquests sometimes have enabled them to enslave those Who once 
enslaved them. So for us to encourage the idea that one day Negroes will rise to the highest in the 
administration of this white government, is only encouraging a vain hope. 

The only wise thing for us as ambitious Negroes to do is to organize the world over, and build up 
for the race a mighty nation of our own in Africa. And this race of ours that cannot get 
recognition and respect in the country where we were slaves, by using our own ability, power 
and genius, would develop for ourselves in another country in our habitat a nation of our own, 
and be able to send back from that country, — from that native habitat — to the country where we 
were once enslaved, representatives of our race, that would get as much respect as any other 
ambassadors from any other race or nation. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

Examples of White Christian Control of Africa 

The world has seen many fair examples of white Christian control of Africa: 

The outrages of Leopold of Belgium, when he butchered thousands of our defenseless brothers 
and sisters in the Belgian Congo, and robbed them of their rubber. 

The natives of Kenya South East Africa armed with sticks and stones rebelled against the 
injustices and brutality of the English, and were hewn down by machine guns, because they aid 
not supply the demands of the invaders. 

The Hottentots of South West Africa in rebellion against similar brutality and exploitation, using 
spears and leather shields to protect themselves, were bombed from airplanes by the Christian 

The above are but few examples of the many atrocities committed on our defenseless brothers 
and sisters in Africa by white exploiters and invaders. Surely the introduction of chemical gas 
among the natives of Africa would place them in a better position to handle "the alien disturbers 
of African peace." 

It strikes me that with all the civilization this Western Hemisphere affords, Negroes ought to take 
better advantage of the cause of higher education. We could make of ourselves better mechanics 
and scientists, and in cases where we can help our brothers in Africa by making use of the 
knowledge we possess, it would be but our duty, If Africa is to be redeemed the Western Negro 
will have to make a valuable contribution along technical and scientific lines. 

The Thought Behind Their Deeds 

Behind the murder of millions of Negroes annually in Africa is the well organized system of 
exploitation by the alien intruders who desire to rob Africa of every bit of its wealth for the 
satisfaction of their race and the upkeep of their bankrupt European countries. 

If we of the Western World take no interest in the higher development of the African natives, it 
will mean that in another hundred years historians and writers will tell us that the black man once 
inhabited Africa, just as the North American Indian once inhabited America. But those of us who 
lead are well versed In Western civilization and are determined that the black man shall not be a 
creature of the past, but a full-fledged man of the present and a power to be reckoned with in the 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
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Similarity of Persecution 

Christ came into the world centuries ago to redeem lost mankind. From the age of twelve to His 
Crucifixion He taught the doctrine of salvation without fear of the great and mighty ones of His 
day. But His fellow Jews became jealous of His success and sought means to get rid of Him. 
They argued among themselves saying, "How can we do it. We have no power, no judges, and if 
we lay hands upon Him, He will have us apprehended by the Roman authorities. The best thing 
we can do is to frame him up". So they made certain statements to the Roman Government 
which had Jesus incarcerated, while His brother Jews shouted with joy as they had accomplished 
their desire. 

When Jesus was brought to trial Pontius Pilate, the Governor, did not care to send Him to prison 
as He had not interfered with the honor and reputation of any Roman citizen, and the Romans 
were not jealous of the work of this Jew. But the Jews who were jealous of Christ said, "This 
man is preaching against Caesar and the State; He is preaching the doctrine of rebellion among 
the peaceful Jews and citizens of the State; if you do not convict this man, you are not a friend of 
Caesar", Pilate being thus forced against his will, was compelled to decide against Jesus, even 
though he knew that Jesus had done no wrong. 

After He was condemned Pilate still hoped to get his conscience clear by letting Jesus go, in that 
he Pilate was empowered to release one criminal on Feast Day. When the time came for the 
condemned men to be crucified Pilate asked them to choose between Barabbas, the robber and 
Jesus whom they called the King of the Jews, and they cried, "Crucify Jesus and let Barabbas 
go". Pilate said, "What evil hath he done", but they cried the more "Crucify him". 

So we have a relative position at this time, Selfish, jealous Negroes know they can do nothing to 
impede the progress of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, and if left alone we will 
go on organizing Negroes throughout the world, so they say: "We cannot handle Garvey and his 
Organization, as we have no power, let us go to the State and Federal authorities, and frame him 
up, let us say he is an anarchist, a seditionist and is speaking against the government", Like the 
Jews of old, they cry "Crucify him," or rather, "Send him to prison, deport him." 

During Christ's sojourn on earth He taught many lessons, among them: "Blessed are they which 
are persecuted for righteousness" sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven," This declaration has 
inspired men through all ages to make their sacrifice in the cause of human liberty. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

When we recount the many noble deeds of the heroes and martyrs of the various nations and 
races of the world, who have sacrificed their lives in the cause of freedom, we will readily realize 
that this declaration of Christ has proved itself true, Through the sacrifice of Jesus and the 
yielding up of His life on Calvary's Cross, the world today has caught an inspiration that will live 
forever. In the time when He taught His doctrine few men believed in and followed Him, but 
after the lapse of centuries we find that Christianity has become the greatest moral force in the 
world. And as with Christianity, so with every great human Movement taught under similar 

May we not say to ourselves that the doctrine Jesus taught — that of redeeming mankind — is the 
doctrine we ourselves must teach in the redemption of our struggling race? Let us therefore cling 
fast to the great ideal we have before us. This time it is not the ideal of redeeming the world, 
such as was the ideal of Jesus, but it is the ideal of redeeming and saving 400,000,000 souls who 
have suffered for centuries from the persecution of alien races. As Christ by His teachings, His 
sufferings and His death, triumphed over His foes, through the resurrection, so do we hope that 
out of our sufferings and persecutions of today we will triumph in the resurrection of our 
newborn race. 

Shall the Negro Be Exterminated? 

The Negro now stands at the cross roads of human destiny. He is at the place where he must 
either step forward or backward. If he goes backward he dies; if he goes forward it will be with 
the hope of a greater life. Those of us who have developed our minds scientifically are 
compelled, by duty, to step out among the millions of the unthinking masses and convince them 
of the seriousness of the age in which we live. 

From Adam and Eve 

We are either on the way to a higher racial existence or racial extermination. This much is known 
and realized by every thoughtful race and nation; hence, we have the death struggle of the 
different races of Europe and Asia in the scramble of the survival of the fittest race. 

As we look at things we see that the great world in which we live has undergone much change 
since the time of the creation. When God created the world, and all therein, He handed His 
authority over to the two beings He created in His own image; namely, Adam and Eve. From the 
time of Adam and Eve the human race has multiplied by leaps and bounds. Where we once had 
two persons to exercise authority over the world, we to-day have one billion five hundred 
million's claiming authority and possession of the same world that was once the property of the 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

The Tragedy of Race Extinction 

When the Colonists of America desired possession of the land they saw that a weak aboriginal 
race was in their way. What did they do? They got hold of them, killed them, and buried them 
underground. This is a fair indication of what will happen to the weaker peoples of the world in 
another two or three hundred years when the stronger races will have developed themselves to 
the position of complete mastery of all things material. They will not then as they have not in the 
past, allow a weak and defenseless race to stand in their way, especially if in their doing so they 
will endanger their happiness, their comfort and their pleasures. These are the things that strike 
the thoughtful Negro as being dangerous, and these are the things that cause us who make up the 
Universal Negro Improvement Association to be fighting tenaciously for the purpose of building 
up a strong Negro race, so as to make it impossible for us to be exterminated in the future to 
make room for the stronger races, even as the North American Indian has been exterminated to 
make room for the great white man on this North American continent. 

The illiterate and shallow-minded Negro who can see no farther than his nose is now the greatest 
stumbling block in the way of the race. He tells us that we must be satisfied with our condition; 
that we must not think of building up a nation of our own, that we must not seek to organize 
ourselves racially, but that we must depend upon the good feeling of the other fellow for the 
solution of the problem that now confronts us. This is a dangerous policy and it is my duty to 
warn the four hundred million Negroes of the world against this kind of a leadership — a 
leadership that will try to make Negroes believe that all will be well without their taking upon 
themselves the task of bettering their condition politically, industrially, educationally and 

The time has come for those of us who have the vision of the future to inspire our people to a 
closer kinship, to a closer love of self, because it is only through this appreciation of self will we 
be able to rise to that higher life that will make us not an extinct race in the future, but a race of 
men fit to survive. 

The Price of Leadership 

Those of us who are blazing the way in this new propaganda of the Universal Negro 
Improvement Association to enlighten our people everywhere are at times very much annoyed 
and discouraged by the acts of our own people in that consciously or unconsciously they do so 
many things to hurt our deeper feeling of loyalty and love for the race. But what can we do? Can 
we forsake them because they hurt our feelings? Surely not. Painful though it may be to be 
interfered with and handicapped in the performance of the higher sense of duty, yet we must, 
martyr-like, make up our minds and our hearts to pay the price of leadership. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

We must be sympathetic, we must be forgiving, we must really have forbearance, so that when 
the ignorant and illiterate fellow who happens to be a member of your own race stands up to 
block the passage of some cause that you believe would be to his benefit and to yours as a people 
you will be able to overlook him, even though he fosters his opposition with the greatest amount 
of insult to your intelligence and to your dignity. 

The excuse that some of our most brilliant men give for not identifying themselves with race 
movements is, that they cannot tolerate the interference of the illiterate Negro, who, being a 
member of the same organization will attempt to dictate what you should do in the interest of the 
race, when his act is based upon no deeper judgment than his like or dislike for the person he is 
opposing, or the satisfaction it would give him to embarrass the person he feels like opposing. 
Many an able leader is lost to his race because of this fear, and sometimes we must admit the 
reasonableness of this argument; but as I have said leadership means martyrdom, leadership 
means sacrifice, leadership means giving up one's personality, giving up of everything for the 
cause that is worthwhile. It is only because of that feeling that I personally continue to lead the 
Universal Negro Improvement Association, because like every other leader, I have had to 
encounter the opposition, the jealousy, the plotting of men who take advantage of the situation, 
simply because they happen to be members of the organization, and that we may have to depend 
upon their vote one way or the other for the good of the cause. Not that some of us care one row 
of pins about what the other fellow thinks, but when it is considered that we can only achieve 
success through harmony and unity, then it can be realized how much one has to sacrifice as a 
leader for getting that harmony that is necessary to bring about the results that are desired. 

The White Race 

We desire harmony and unity to-day more than ever, because it is only through the bringing 
together of the four hundred million Negroes into one mighty bond that we can successfully pilot 
our way through the avenues of opposition and the oceans of difficulties that seem to confront 
us. When it is considered that the great white race is making a herculean struggle to become the 
only surviving race of the centuries, and when it is further considered that the great yellow race 
under the leadership of Japan is making a like struggle, then more than ever the seriousness of 
the situation can be realized as far as our race is concerned. If we sit supinely by and allow the 
great white race to lift itself in numbers and in power, it will mean that in another five hundred 
years this full grown race of white men will in turn exterminate the weaker race of black men for 
the purpose of finding enough room on this limited mundane sphere to accommodate that race 
which will have numerically multiplied itself into many billions. This is the danger point. What 
will become of the Negro in another five hundred years if he does not organize now to develop 
and to protect himself? The answer is that he will be exterminated for the purpose of making 
room for the other races that will be strong enough to hold their own against the opposition of all 
and sundry. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
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An appeal to the Intelligentsia 

The leadership of the Negro of to-day must be able to locate the race, and not only for to-day but 
for all times. It is in the desire to locate the Negro in a position of prosperity and happiness in the 
future that the Universal Negro Improvement Association is making this great fight for the race's 
emancipation everywhere and the founding of a great African government. Every sober-minded 
Negro will see immediately the reason why we should support a movement of this kind. If we 
will survive then it must be done through our own effort, through our own energy. No race of 
weaklings can survive in the days of tomorrow, because they will be hard and strenuous days 
fraught with many difficulties. 

I appeal to the higher intelligence as well as to the illiterate groups of our race. We must work 
together. Those of us who fire better positioned intellectually must exercise forbearance with the 
illiterate and help them to see the right. If we happen to be members of the same organization, 
and the illiterate man tries to embarrass you, do not become disgusted, but remember that he 
does it because he does not know better, and it is your duty to forbear and forgive because the 
ends that we serve are not of self, but for the higher development of the entire race. It is on this 
score, it is on this belief, that I make the sacrifice of self to help this downtrodden race of mine. 
Nevertheless, I say there is a limit to human patience, and we should not continue to provoke the 
other fellow against his human feelings for in doing so we may be but bringing down upon our 
own heads the pillars of the temple. 

Africa for the Africans 

For five years the Universal Negro Improvement Association has been advocating the cause of 
Africa for the Africans — that is, that the Negro peoples of the world should concentrate upon the 
object of building up for themselves a great nation in Africa. 

When we started our propaganda toward this end several of the so-called intellectual Negroes 
who have been bamboozling the race for over half a century said that we were crazy, that the 
Negro peoples of the western world were not interested in Africa and could not live in Africa. 
One editor and leader went so far as to say at his so-called Pan- African Congress that American 
Negroes could not live in Africa, because the climate was too hot. All kinds of arguments have 
been adduced by these Negro intellectuals against the colonization of Africa by the black race. 
Some said that the black man would ultimately work out his existence alongside of the white 
man in countries founded and established by the latter. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

Therefore, it was not necessary for Negroes to seek an independent nationality of their own. The 
old time stories of "African fever," "African bad climate," "African mosquitoes," "African 
savages," have been repeated by these "brainless intellectuals" of ours as a scare against our 
people in America and the West Indies taking a kindly interest in the new program of building a 
racial empire of our own in our Motherland. Now that years have rolled by and the Universal 
Negro Improvement Association has made the circuit of the world with its propaganda, we find 
eminent statesmen and leaders of the white race coming out boldly advocating the cause of 
colonizing Africa with the Negroes of the western world. A year ago Senator MacCullum of the 
Mississippi Legislature introduced a resolution in the House for the purpose of petitioning the 
Congress of the United States of America and the President to use their good influence in 
securing from the Allies sufficient territory in Africa in liquidation of the war debt, which 
territory should be used for the establishing of an independent nation for American Negroes. 
About the same time Senator France of Maryland gave expression to a similar desire in the 
Senate of the United States. During a speech on the "Soldiers' Bonus." He said: "We owe a big 
debt to Africa and one which we have too long ignored. I need not enlarge upon our peculiar 
interest in the obligation to the people of Africa. Thousands of Americans have for years been 
contributing to the missionary work which has been carried out by the noble men and women 
who have been sent out in that field by the churches of America." 

Germany to the Front 

This reveals a real change on the part of prominent statesmen in their attitude on the African 
question. Then came another suggestion from Germany, for which Dr. Heinrich Schnee, a former 
Governor of German East Africa, is author. This German statesman suggests in an interview 
given out in Berlin, and published in New York, that America takes over the mandatories of 
Great Britain and France in Africa for the colonization of American Negroes. Speaking on the 
matter, he says "As regards the attempt to colonize Africa with the surplus American colored 
population, this would in a long way settle the vexed problem, and under the plan such as 
Senator France has outlined, might enable France and Great Britain to discharge their duties to 
the United States, and simultaneously ease the burden of German reparations which is paralyzing 
economic life." 

With expressions as above quoted from prominent world statesmen, and from the demands made 
by such men as Senators France and McCullum, it is clear that the question of African 
nationality is not a far-fetched one, but is as reasonable and feasible as was the idea of an 
American nationality. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

A "Program" At Last 

I trust that the Negro peoples of the world are now convinced that the work of the Universal 
Negro Improvement Association is not a visionary one, but very practical, and that it is not so 
farfetched, but can be realized in a short while if the entire race will only co-operate and work 
toward the desired end. Now that the work of our organization has started to bear fruit we find 
that some of these "doubting Thomases" of three and four years ago are endeavoring to mix 
themselves up with the popular idea of rehabilitating Africa in the interest of the Negro They are 
now advancing spurious "programs" and in a short while will endeavor to force themselves upon 
the public as advocates and leaders of the African idea. 

It is felt that those who have followed the career of the Universal Negro Improvement 
Association will not allow themselves to be deceived by these Negro opportunists who have 
always sought to live off the ideas of other people. 

The Dream of a Negro Empire 

It is only a question of a few more years when Africa will be completely colonized by Negroes, 
as Europe is by the white race. What we want is an independent African nationality, and if 
America is to help the Negro peoples of the world establish such a nationality, then we welcome 
the assistance. 

It is hoped that when the time comes for American and West Indian Negroes to settle in Africa, 
they will realize their responsibility and their duty. It will not be to go to Africa for the purpose 
of exercising an over-lordship over the natives, but it shall be the purpose of the Universal Negro 
Improvement Association to have established in Africa that brotherly co-operation: which will 
make the interests of the African native and the American and West Indian Negro one and the 
same, that is to say, we shall enter into a common partnership to build up Africa in the interests 
of our race. 

Oneness of Interests 

Everybody knows that there is absolutely no difference between the native African and the 
American and West Indian Negroes, in that we are descendants from one common family stock. 
It is only a matter of accident that we have been divided and kept apart for over three hundred 
years, but it is felt that when the time has come for us to get back together, we shall do so in the 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

spirit of brotherly love, and any Negro who expects that he will be assisted here, there or 
anywhere by the Universal Negro Improvement Association to exercise a haughty superiority 
over the fellows of his own race, makes a tremendous mistake. Such men had better remain 
where they are and not attempt to become in any way interested in the higher development of 

The Negro has had enough of the vaunted practice of race superiority as inflicted upon him by 
others; therefore he is not prepared to tolerate a similar assumption on the part of his own people. 
In America and the West Indies, we have Negroes who believe themselves so much above their 
fellows as to cause them to think that any readjustment in the affairs of the race should be placed 
in their hands for them to exercise a kind of an autocratic and despotic control as others have 
done to us for centuries. Again I say, it would be advisable for such Negroes to take their hands 
and minds off the now popular idea of colonizing Africa in the interest of the Negro race, 
because their being identified with this new program will not in any way help us because of the 
existing feeling among Negroes everywhere not to tolerate the infliction of race or class 
superiority upon them, as is the desire of the self-appointed and self-created race leadership that 
we have been having for the last fifty years. 

The Basis of an African Aristocracy 

The masses of Negroes in America, the West Indies, South and Central America are in 
sympathetic accord with the aspirations of the native Africans. We desire to help them build up 
Africa as a Negro Empire, where every black man, whether he was born in Africa or in the 
Western world, will have the opportunity to develop on his own lines under the protection of the 
most favorable democratic institutions. 

It will be useless, as before stated, for bombastic Negroes to leave America and the West Indies 
to go to Africa, thinking that they will have privileged positions to inflict upon the race that 
bastard aristocracy that they have tried to maintain: in this Western world at the expense of the 
masses. Africa shall develop an aristocracy of its own, but it shall be based upon service and 
loyalty to race. Let all Negroes work toward that end. I feel that it is only a question of a few 
more years before our program will be accepted not only by the few statesmen of America who 
are now interested in it, but by the strong statesmen of the world, as the only solution to the great 
race problem. There is no other way to avoid the threatening war of the races that is bound to 
engulf all mankind, which has been prophesied by the world's greatest thinkers; there is no better 
method than by apportioning every race to its own habitat. 

The time has really come for the Asiatic to govern themselves in Asia, as the Europeans are in 
Europe and the Western world, so also is it wise for the Africans to govern themselves at home, 
and thereby bring peace and satisfaction to the entire human family. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

The Future as I See It 

It comes to the individual, the race, the nation, once in a life time to decide upon the course to be 
pursued as a career. The hour has now struck for the individual Negro as well as the entire race 
to decide the course that will be pursued in the interest of our own liberty. We who make up the 
Universal Negro Improvement Association have decided that we shall go forward, upward and 
onward toward the great goal of human liberty. We have determined among ourselves that all 
barriers placed in the way of our progress must be removed, must be cleared away for we desire 
to see the light of a brighter day. 

The Negro is Ready 

The Universal Negro Improvement Association for five years has been proclaiming to the world 
the readiness of the Negro to carve out a pathway for himself in the course of life. Men of other 
races and nations have become alarmed at this attitude of the Negro in his desire to do things for 
himself and by himself. This alarm has become so universal that organizations have been 
brought into being here, there and everywhere for the purpose of deterring and obstructing this 
forward move of our race. Propaganda has been waged here, there and everywhere for the 
purpose of misinterpreting the intention of this organization; some have said that this 
organization seeks to create discord and discontent among the races; some say we are organized 
for the purpose of hating other people. Every sensible, sane and honest-minded person knows 
that the Universal Negro Improvement Association has no such intention. We are organized for 
the absolute purpose of bettering our condition, industrially, commercially, socially, religiously 
and politically. We are organized not to hate other men, but to lift ourselves, and to demand 
respect of all humanity. We have a program that we believe to be righteous; we believe it to be 
just, and we have made up our minds to lay down ourselves on the altar of sacrifice for the 
realization of this great hope of ours, based upon the foundation of righteousness. We declare to 
the world that Africa must be free, that the entire Negro race must be emancipated from 
industrial bondage, peonage and serfdom; we make no compromise, we make no apology in this 
our declaration. We do not desire to create offense on the part of other races, but we are 
determined that we shall be heard, that we shall be given the rights to which we are entitled. 

The Propaganda of our Enemies 

For the purpose of creating doubts about the work of the Universal Negro Improvement 
Association, many attempts have been made to cast shadow and gloom over our work. They 
have even written the most uncharitable things about our organization; they have spoken so 
unkindly of our effort, but what do we care? They spoke unkindly and uncharitably about all the 
reform movements that have helped in the betterment of humanity. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

They maligned the great movement of the Christian religion; they maligned the great liberation 
movements of America, of France, of England, of Russia; can we expect, then, to escape being 
maligned in this, our desire for the liberation of Africa and the freedom of four hundred million 
Negroes of the world? 

We have unscrupulous men and organizations working in opposition to us. Some trying to 
capitalize the new spirit that has come to the Negro to make profit out of it to their own selfish 
benefit; some are trying to set back the Negro from seeing the hope of his own liberty, and 
thereby poisoning our people's mind against the motives of our organization; but every sensible 
farseeing Negro in this enlightened age knows what propaganda means. It is the medium of 
discrediting that which you are opposed to, so that the propaganda of our enemies will be of little 
avail as soon as we are rendered able to carry to our peoples scattered throughout the world the 
true message of our great organization. 

"Crocodiles" As Friends 

Men of the Negro race, let me say to you that a greater future is in store for us; we have no cause 
to lose hope, to become faint-hearted. We must realize that upon ourselves depend our destiny, 
our future; we must carve out that future, that destiny, and we who make up the Universal Negro 
Improvement Association have pledged ourselves that nothing in the world shall stand in our 
way, nothing in the world shall discourage us, but opposition shall make us work harder, shall 
bring us closer together so that as one man the millions of us will march on toward that goal that 
we have set for ourselves. The new Negro shall not be deceived. The new Negro refuses to take 
advice from anyone who has not felt with him, and suffered with him. We have suffered for three 
hundred years; therefore we feel that the time has come when only those who have suffered with 
us can interpret our feelings and our spirit. It takes the slave to interpret the feelings of the slave; 
it takes the unfortunate man to interpret the spirit of his unfortunate brother; and so it takes the 
suffering Negro to interpret the spirit of his comrade. It is strange that so many people are 
interested in the Negro now, willing to advise him how to act, and what organizations he should 
join, yet nobody was interested in the Negro to the extent of not making him a slave for two 
hundred and fifty years, reducing him to industrial peonage and serfdom after he was freed; it is 
strange that the same people can be so interested in the Negro now, as to tell him what 
organization he should follow and what leader he should support. 

Whilst we are bordering on a future of brighter things, we are also at our danger period, when we 
must either accept the right philosophy, or go down by following deceptive propaganda which 
has hemmed us in for many centuries. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

Deceiving the People 

There is many a leader of our race who tells us that everything is well, and that all things will 
work out themselves and that a better day is coming. Yes, all of us know that a better day is 
coming; we all know that one day we will go home to Paradise, but whilst we are hoping by our 
Christian virtues to have an entry into Paradise we also realize that we are living on earth, and 
that the things that are practiced in Paradise are not practiced here. You have to treat this world 
as the world treats you; we are living in a temporal, material age, an age of activity, an age of 
racial, national selfishness. What else can you expect but to give back to the world what the 
world gives to you, and we are calling upon the four hundred million Negroes of the world to 
take a decided stand, a determined stand, that we shall occupy a firm position; that position shall 
be an emancipated race and a free nation of our own. We are determined that we shall have a free 
country; we are determined that we shall have a flag; we are determined that we shall have a 
government second to none in the world. 

An Eye for An Eye 

Men may spurn the idea, they may scoff at it; the metropolitan press of this country may deride 
us; yes, white men may laugh at the idea of Negroes talking about government; but let me tell 
you there is going to be a government, and let me say to you also that whatsoever you give, in 
like measure it shall be returned to you. The world is sinful, and therefore man believes in the 
doctrine of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Everybody believes that revenge is God's, but at 
the same time we are men, and revenge sometimes springs up, even in the most Christian heart. 
Why should man write down a history that will react against him? Why should man perpetrate 
deeds of wickedness upon his brother which will return to him in like measure? Yes, the 
Germans maltreated the French in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, but the French got even with 
the Germans in 1918. It is history, and history will repeat itself. Beat the Negro, brutalize the 
Negro, kill the Negro, burn the Negro, imprison the Negro, scoff at the Negro, deride the Negro, 
it may come back to you one of these fine days, because the supreme destiny of man is in the 
hands of God. God is no respecter of persons, whether that person be white, yellow or black. 
Today the one race is up, tomorrow it has fallen; today the Negro seems to be the footstool of the 
other races and nations of the world; tomorrow the Negro may occupy the highest rung of the 
great human ladder. 

But, when we come to consider the history of man, was not the Negro a power, was he not great 
once? Yes, honest students of history can recall the day when Egypt, Ethiopia and Timbuktu 
towered in their civilizations, towered above Europe, towered above Asia. When Europe was 
inhabited by a race of cannibals, a race of savages, naked men, heathens and pagans, Africa was 
peopled with a race of cultured black men, who were masters in art, science and literature; men 
who were cultured and refined; men who, it was said, were like the gods. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

Even the great poets of old sang in beautiful sonnets of the delight it afforded the gods to be in 
companionship with the Ethiopians. Why, then, should we lose hope? Black men, you were once 
great; you shall be great again. Lose not courage, lose not faith, and go forward. The thing to do 
is to get organized; keep separated and you will be exploited, you will be robbed, you will be 
killed. Get organized, and you will compel the world to respect you. If the world fails to give you 
consideration, because you are black men, because you are Negroes, four hundred millions of 
you shall, through organization, shake the pillars of the universe and bring down creation, even 
as Samson brought down the temple upon his head and upon the heads of the Philistines. 

An Inspiring Vision 

So Negroes, I say, through the Universal Negro Improvement Association, that there is much to 
live for. I have a vision of the future, and I see before me a picture of a redeemed Africa, with 
her dotted cities, with her beautiful civilization, with her millions of happy children, going to and 
fro. Why should I lose hope, why should I give up and take a back place in this age of progress? 
Remember that you are men, that God created you Lords of this creation. Lift up yourselves, 
men, take yourselves out of the mire and hitch your hopes to the stars; yes, rise as high as the 
very stars themselves. Let no man pull you down, let no man destroy your ambition, because 
man is but your companion, your equal; man is your brother; he is not your lord; he is not your 
sovereign master. 

We of the Universal Negro Improvement Association feel happy; we are cheerful. Let them 
connive to destroy us; let them organize to destroy us; we shall fight the more. Ask me 
personally the cause of my success, and I say opposition; oppose me, and I fight the more, and if 
you want to find out the sterling worth of the Negro, oppose him, and under the leadership of the 
Universal Negro Improvement Association he shall fight his way to victory, and in the days to 
come, and I believe not far distant, Africa shall reflect a splendid demonstration of the worth of 
the Negro, of the determination of the Negro, to set himself free and to establish a government of 
his own. 

Speech Delivered on Emancipation Day at Liberty Hall in New York City: January 1, 1922 

Fifty-nine years ago Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation declaring four 
million Negroes in this country free; several years prior to that Queen Victoria of England signed 
the Emancipation Proclamation that set at liberty hundreds of thousands of West Indian Negro 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

West Indian Negroes celebrate their emancipation on the first day of August of every year. The 
American Negroes celebrate their emancipation on the first of January of every year. Tonight we 
are here to celebrate the emancipation of the slaves in this country. 

We are the descendants of the men and women who suffered in this country for two hundred and 
fifty years under that barbarous, that brutal institution known as slavery. You who have not lost 
trace of your history will recall the fact that over three hundred years ago your fore -bears were 
taken from the great Continent of Africa and brought here for the purpose of using them as 
slaves. Without mercy, without any sympathy they worked our fore-bears. They suffered, they 
bled, they died. But with their sufferings, with their blood, which they shed in their death, they 
had a hope that one day their posterity would be free, and we are assembled here tonight as the 
children of their hope. 

I trust each and every one of you therefore will realize that you have a duty which is incumbent 
upon you; a duty that you must perform, because our fore -bears who suffered, who bled, who 
died had hopes that are not yet completely realized. They hoped that we as their children would 
be free, but they also hoped that their country from whence they came would also be free to their 
children, their grand-children and great grandchildren at some future time. It is for the freedom 
of that country — that Motherland of ours — that four and a half million Negroes, as members of 
the Universal Negro Improvement Association, are laboring today. 

This race of ours gave civilization, gave art, gave science; gave literature to the world. But it has 
been the way with races and nations. The one race stands out prominently in the one century or 
in the one age; and in another century or age it passes off the stage of action, and another race 
takes its place. The Negro once occupied a high position in the world, scientifically, artistically 
and commercially, but in the balancing of the great scale of evolution, we lost our place and 
someone, other than ourselves occupies the stand we once held. 

God never intended that man should enslave his fellow, and the price of such a sin or such a 
violation of Heaven's law must be paid by everyone. As for me, because of the blessed past, 
because of the history that I know, so long as there is within me the breath of life and the spirit of 
God, I shall struggle on and urge others of our race to struggle on to see that justice is done to the 
black peoples of the world. Yes, we appreciate the sorrows of the past, and we are going to work 
in the present that the sorrows of our generation shall not be perpetuated in the future. On the 
contrary, we shall strive that by our labors, succeeding generations of our own shall call us 
blessed, even as we call the generation of the past blessed today. And they indeed were blest. 
They were blest with a patience not yet known to man; a patience that enabled them to endure 
the tortures and the sufferings of slavery for two hundred and fifty years. Why? Was it because 
they loved slavery so? 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

No. It was because they loved this generation more — isn't it wonderful. Transcendent? What 
then are you going to do to show your appreciation of this love, what gratitude are you going to 
manifest in return for what they have done for you? As for me, knowing the sufferings of my 
fore-fathers I shall give back to Africa that liberty that she once enjoyed hundreds of years ago, 
before her own sons and daughters were taken from her shores and brought in chains to this 
Western World. 

No better gift can I give in honor of the memory of the love of my fore-parents for me, and in 
gratitude of the sufferings they endured that I might be free; no grander gift can I bear to the 
sacred memory of the generation past than a free and a redeemed Africa — a monument for all 
eternity — for all times. 

As by the action of the world, as by the conduct of all the races and nations it is apparent that not 
one of them has the sense of justice, the sense of love, the sense of equity, the sense of charity, 
that would make men happy, and make God satisfied. It is apparent that it is left to the Negro to 
play such a part in human affairs — for when we look to the Anglo-Saxon we see him full of 
greed, avarice, no mercy, no love, no charity. We go from the white man to the yellow man, and 
we see the same unenviable characteristics in the Japanese. Therefore we must believe that the 
Psalmist had great hopes of this race of ours when he prophesied "Princes shall come out of 
Egypt and Ethiopia shall stretch forth her hands unto God." 

If humanity is regarded as made up of the children of God and God loves all humanity (we all 
know that) then God will be more pleased with that race that protects all humanity than with the 
race that outrages the children of God. And so tonight we celebrate this anniversary of our 
emancipation, we do it not with regret; on the contrary we do it with an abiding confidence, a 
hope and faith in ourselves and in our God. And the faith that we have is a faith that will 
ultimately take us back to that ancient place, that ancient position that we once occupied, when 
Ethiopia was in her glory. 

Christmas Message to the Negro Peoples of the World. December 1921 

Fellow men of the Negro Race, Greeting: — to us is born this day the Child Jesus — the Christ. 
The Shepherds and wise men are now wending their way toward Bethlehem, there to behold the 
Wonder of God. Because, there, in a manger, is to be found the Baby Christ who is to be the 
Redeemer of the world. And so our thoughts go back for more than nineteen hundred years. We 
hear the shout "Hosanna in the Highest, blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord." 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

With all the preparation the human race has made to welcome into the world the Christ who is to 
redeem us, we find ourselves still in confusion, still fighting, still exploiting, still merciless in our 
onslaught one upon the other. But on this Christmas morn may we not all members and brothers 
of the great human family, forget our differences, and in one glorious chorus sing put to the 
world "Peace, perfect peace?". Christ died to free Mankind. 

When we come to consider the Brotherhood of Man and the Fatherhood of God, and that this 
Child of our own flesh, yet spirit of the Great Creator has been sent to link us nearer to our 
common Father, will we not admit of the reason that there should be but very little differences 
between us, What will we gain fighting the battle of man against man? Absolutely nothing but 
death; and was not this Child Jesus sent into this world to teach us the new life, the life of Love, 
of Charity, the Life of Mercy? What greater example do we desire than that which He gave in 
His own Life? He suffered; He died that others might be free. Yet even with the great object of 
the Cross before us, even though He died on Mount Calvary to make us free; even though He 
overcame death, the grave and hell to demonstrate to us the new life possible to each and 
everyone, we have not yet turned from the path of sin to enter into the glory of His Eternal 

The spirit of Christmas instead of planning a career of sin on this Christmas morning, may we 
not lift our thoughts to that grand and noble Father who save to us on this day His Royal Son, 
whom He has made our brother, and ask Him to bless each and every one of us that our hearts 
may be touched with the true spirit of the first Christmas morning? That first day in the stable at 
Bethlehem was a beacon of a new born hope, for with the birth of the Prince of Peace there came 
to us an age of spiritual grace, which in its course sought to link man nearer to his God, and 
coming down the ages for more than nineteen hundred years, we have tried to preach Him as He 
appeared to us in His innocence, His Love and in His Charity. 

Christ labored for thirty three years to teach us the way to glory, but in His career man, his 
brother sought the life that he could not give; he persecuted Him, he derided Him, he jeered Him 
and at last he crucified Him. But when that which was physical in the Christ died, the spiritual 
continued, and from earth betook its flight to heaven, there, probably, for all eternity, to look 
down upon the sinful, wicked world, and still to shower upon us blessings that we really need. 
We shall never succeed in taking the Spirit of Christ out of the world, because in some of us, 
still, there is that spark of love, charity, and mercy that links us to our God. But may we not ask 
the Great Omnipotent, the Great Creator, our Eternal Father to send once more into the world, 
just at this time and oh, how we pray that it be on this Christmas morn, our brother Christ, so that 
He may calm the raging storm and in truth pour out His benediction upon a corrupt world, a 
soulless human race, and make us subjects fit for Eternal Life? 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
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Hail! the New born King 

As with the angels let us sing, "Hail the New Born King, the Prince of Peace, Hail to the Son of 
Righteousness, for with Thee there is life, without Thee there is death". For as thou died upon 
Calvary's mount to make us better, to redeem us from our sins, may we not hope for a 
continuance of that love even for today? and knowing Thee in Thy bountiful love for all 
mankind, may we not further ask that Thy Spirit lighten up our hearts and bring to us by the 
touch of Thy grace, the knowledge of the Everlasting Brotherhood of Man, and the Eternal 
Fatherhood of God? 

As the angels now rejoice in heaven over this new birth, so we rejoice on earth, four hundred 
millions of us, who are members of this Negro race, feeling that Thou art our King, that Thou art 
our Savior, that thou shalt be our Emanuel. We love Thee because Thou art the Son of God. We 
praise, worship and adore Thee because Thou art the Prince of Peace. 

The Prince of Peace our guide today 

Let others in their sin, in their wickedness seek after the infant Life that Thou gaveist to all 
mankind. We in our simplicity shall find refuge for Thee even in the land of Egypt. Yes, the 
world of sinful, wicked men cried out "Crucify Him! Crucify Him! But Lord because Thou art 
our Master, because Thou art our Prince of peace, because Thou art our Redeemer, we shall 
render unto Thee all help possible, even in bearing the Cross up the heights of Calvary, for in life 
Thou hast been our friend; in death we know Thou shalt remember us, and now that Thou art 
sitting at the right hand of God, the Father, now that Thou hast conquered death, the grave and 
hell, surely in Thy mercy Thou shalt remember us. So today even though hundreds of years have 
rolled by since Thy crucifixion, we know that there is in Thine heart, there is in Thy soul a warm 
spot for the Sons and Daughters of Africa whose forebears bore the cross for Thee up the heights 
of Calvary to thy crucifixion. 

We sing and shout with the angels; we ring our joy bells; we blow our horns in praise because 
Thou art indeed the Jesus, the Christ, the Emanuel to us, the Son of Righteousness, the Prince of 

As sons and daughters of Africa, may not four hundred millions of us the world over on this 
Christmas morn pray for the redemption of that Motherland which sheltered our Blessed 
Redeemer when the wild, wicked men of the world sought His life; in the same manner wild, 
wicked men seek the lives of Negroes today, and burn, lynch and kill them because they have not 
the strength that makes man mighty. But with the Almighty Power of God and with the guidance 
and mercy of our Blessed Lord we feel that one day Ethiopia shall stretch forth her hand, and 
whether it be at the second coming or before, we shall all sing our Hosannas, shout our praises to 
God for freedom, for liberty, for life. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

"For Christ is born of Mary, 

And gathered all above 
While mortals sleep, the angels keep 

Their watch of wondering love. 
O morning stars, together 

Proclaim the holy birth, 
And praises sing to God our King, 

And peace to men on earth." 

The Resurrection of the Negro 

Easter Sunday Sermon Delivered at Liberty Hall 

New York City, N. Y. April 16th, 1922 

The Lord is risen! A little over nineteen hundred years ago a man came to this world called 
JESUS. He was sent here for the propagation of a cause — that of saving fallen humanity. When 
He came the world refused to hear Him; the world rejected Him; the world persecuted Him; men 
crucified Him. A couple days ago He was nailed to the cross of Calvary; He died; He was buried. 
To-day He is risen; risen the spiritual leader of creation; risen as the first fruit of them that slept. 
To-day that crucified Lord, that crucified Christ sees the affairs of man from His own spiritual 
throne on high. 

After hundreds of years have rolled by, the doctrine He taught has become the accepted religion 
of hundreds of millions of human: beings. He in His resurrection triumphed over death and the 
grave; He by His resurrection convinced humanity that His cause was spiritual. The world felt 
the truth about Jesus too late to have accepted His doctrine in His lifetime. But what was done to 
Jesus in His lifetime is just what is done to all reformers and reform movements. He came to 
change the spiritual attitude of man toward his brother. That was regarded in His day as an 
irregularity, even as it is regarded to-day. The one who attempts to bring about changes in the 
order of human society becomes a dangerous imposter upon society, and to those who control the 
systems of the day. 

The desire to enslave others 

It has been an historic attitude of man to keep his brother in slavery — in subjection for the 
purpose of exploitation. When Jesus came the privileged few were taking advantage of the 
unfortunate masses. Because the teaching of Jesus sought to equalize the spiritual and even the 
temporal rights of man, those who held authority, sway and dominion sought His liberty by 
prosecution, sought His life by death. He was called to yield up that life for the cause He loved — 
because He was indeed a true reformer. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

The Example set by Christ 

The example set by our Lord and Master nineteen hundred years ago is but the example that 
every reformer must make up his mind to follow if we are indeed to serve those to whom we 
minister. Service to humanity means sacrifice. That has been demonstrated by our blessed Lord 
and Redeemer whose resurrection we commemorate this day. As Christ triumphed nearly two 
thousand years ago over death and the grave, as He was risen from the dead, so do I hope that 
400,000,000 Negroes of to-day will triumph over the slavishness of the past, intellectually, 
physically, morally and even religiously; that on this anniversary of our risen Lord, we ourselves 
will be risen from the slumber of the ages; risen in thought to higher ideals, to a loftier purpose, 
to a truer conception of life. 

The Hope of the UNIA 

It is the hope of the Universal Negro Improvement Association that the 400,000,000 Negroes of 
the world will get to realize that we are about to live — new life — a risen life — a life of knowing 

How many of us know ourselves? How many of us understand ourselves? The major number of 
us for ages have failed to recognize in ourselves the absolute masters of our own destiny — the 
absolute directors and creators of our own fate. 

To-day as we think of our risen Lord may we not also think of the life He gave to us — the life 
that made us His instruments, His children — The life that He gave to us to make us possessors of 
the land that He himself created through His Father? How many of us can reach out to that 
higher life; that higher purpose; that creative world that says to you are a man, a sovereign, a 
lord — lord of the creation? On this beautiful spring day, may we not realize that God made 
Nature for us; God has given it to us as our province, our dominion? May we not realize that God 
has created no superior being to us in this world, but Himself? May we not know that we are the 
true lords and creators of our own fate and of our own physical destiny? 

The work of the Universal Negro Improvement Association for the past four and a half years has 
been that of guiding us to realize that there should be a resurrection in us, and if at no other time 
I trust that at this Easter-tide we will realize that there is a great need for a resurrection — a 
resurrection from the lethargy of the past — the sleep of the past — from that feeling that made us 
accept the idea and opinion that God intended that we should occupy an inferior place in the 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
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No Superiority or Inferiority 

Men and women of Liberty Hall, men and women of my race, do you know that the God we 
love, the God we adore, the God who sent His Son to this world nearly two thousand years ago 
never created an inferior man? That God we love, that God we worship and adore has created 
man in His own image, equal in every respect, wheresoever he may be; let him be white; let him 
be yellow; let him be red; let him be black; God has created him the equal of his brother. He is 
such a loving God. He is such a merciful God. He is such a God that He is no respecter of 
persons, that He would not in His great love create a superior race and an inferior one. The God 
that you worship is a God that expects you to be the equal of other men. The God that I adore is 
such a God and He could be no other. 

Some of us seem to accept the fatalist position, the fatalist attitude, that God accorded to us a 
certain position and condition, and therefore there is no need trying to be otherwise. The moment 
you accept such an attitude, the moment you accept such an opinion, the moment you harbor 
such an idea, you hurl an insult at the great God who created you, because you question Him for 
His love, you question Him for His mercy. God has created man, and has placed him in this 
world as the lord of the creation, as the sovereign of everything that you see, let it be land, let it 
be sea, let it be the lakes, rivers and everything therein. All that you see in creation, all that you 
see in the world, was created by God for the use of man, and you four hundred million black 
souls have as much right to your possession in this world as any other race. 

Created in the image of the same God we have the same common rights, and to-day I trust that 
there will be a spiritual and material resurrection among Negroes everywhere; that you will lift 
yourselves from the doubts of the past; that you will lift yourselves from the slumbers of the past, 
that you will lift yourselves from the lethargy of the past, and strike out in this new life — in this 
resurrected life — to see things as they are. 

See life as Others see It. 

The Universal Negro Improvement Association desires that the four hundred million members of 
our race see life as the other races see it. The great white race sees life in a attitude of 
sovereignty; the great yellow race sees life in a similar way, that is to say that man, let him be 
white or yellow, sees that he is master and owner and possessor of everything that God has 
created in this world, and given to us in Nature; and that is why by knowing himself, by 
understanding, himself, and by understanding his God, man has gone, throughout the length and 
breadth of this world, conquering the very elements, harnessing Nature and making a servant of 
everything that God placed within his reach. 

As he has done that for thousands of years pleasing God and justifying his existence, so we are 
appealing to the members of our race to do that now in this risen life, and if you have never made 
up your minds before I trust on this Easter Sunday you will do so. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

Masters of your own Destiny 

I repeat that God created you masters of your own destiny, masters of your own fate, and you can 
pay no higher tribute to your Divine Master than function as man, as He created you. 
The highest compliment we can pay to our Creator; the highest respect we can pay to our risen 
Lord and Savior, is that of feeling that He has created us as His masterpiece; His perfect 
instruments of His own existence, because in us is reflected the very being of God. When it is 
said that we are created in His own image, we ourselves reflect His greatness, we ourselves 
reflect the part of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, and when we allow 
ourselves to be subjected and create others as our superior, we hurl an insult at our Creator who 
made us in the fullness of ourselves. 

I trust that you will so live to-day as to realize that you are masters of your own destiny, masters 
of your fate; if there is anything you want in this world it is for you to strike out with confidence 
and faith in self and reach for it, because God has created it for your happiness wheresoever you 
may find it in nature. Nature is bountiful; nature is resourceful, and nature is willing to obey the 
command of man — Man the sovereign lord; man who is supposed to hold dominion and take 
possession of this great world of ours. 

The difference between the strong and weak races 

The difference between the strong and weak races is that the strong races seem to know 
themselves; seem to discover themselves; seem to realize and know fully that there is but a link 
between them and the Creator; that above them there is no other but God and anything that bears 
human form is but their equal in standing and to that form there should be no obeisance; there 
should be no regard for superiority. Because of that feeling they have been able to hold their own 
in this world; they have been able to take care of the situation as it confronts them in nature; but 
because of our lack of faith and confidence in ourselves we have caused others created in a like 
image to ourselves, to take advantage of us for hundreds of years. 

For hundreds of years we have been the footstool of other races and nations of the earth simply 
because we have failed to realize to recognize and know ourselves as other men have known 
themselves and felt that there is nothing in the world that is above them except the influence of 

The understanding that others have gotten out of life is the same understanding that 400,000,000 
Negroes must get out of this existence of ours. I pray that a new inspiration will come to us as a 
race; that we will think of nature as our servant; that we will think of man as our partner through 
life, and go through the length and breadth of this world achieving and doing as other men, as 
other nations and other races. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

Speech Delivered at Liberty Hall in NY City during the Second International Convention of 
Negroes. August 1921 

Four years ago, realizing the oppression and the hardships from which we suffered, we organized 
ourselves into an organization for the purpose of bettering our condition, and founding a 
government of our own. The four years of organization have brought good results, in that from 
an obscure, despised race we have grown into a mighty power, a mighty force whose influence is 
being felt throughout the length and breadth of the world. The Universal Negro Improvement 
Association existed but in name four years ago, today it is known as the greatest moving force 
among Negroes. We have accomplished this through unity of effort and unity of purpose, it is a 
fair demonstration of what we will be able to accomplish in the very near future, when the 
millions who are outside the pale of the Universal Negro Improvement Association will have 
linked themselves up with us. 

By our success of the last four years we will be able to estimate the grander success of a free and 
redeemed Africa. In climbing the heights to where we are today, we have had to surmount 
difficulties, we have had to climb over obstacles, but the obstacles were stepping stones to the 
future greatness of this cause we represent. Day by day we are writing a new history, recording 
new deeds of valor performed by this race of ours. It is true that the world has not yet valued us 
at our true worth but we are climbing up so fast and with such force that every day the world is 
changing its attitude towards us. Wheresoever you turn your eyes today you will find the moving 
influence of the Universal Negro Improvement Association among Negroes from all corners of 
the globe. We hear among Negroes the cry of "Africa for the Africans". This cry has become a 
positive, determined one. It is a cry that is raised simultaneously the world over because of the 
universal oppression that affects the Negro. You who are congregated here tonight as Delegates 
representing the hundreds of branches of the Universal Negro Improvement Association in 
different parts of the world will realize that we in New York are positive ill this great desire of a 
free and redeemed Africa. We have established this Liberty Hall as the centre from which we 
send out the sparks of liberty to the four corners of the globe, and if you have caught the spark in 
your section, we want you to keep it a-burning for the great Cause we represent. 

There is a mad rush among races everywhere towards national independence. Everywhere we 
hear the cry of liberty, of freedom, and a demand for democracy. In our corner of the world we 
are raising the cry for liberty, freedom and democracy. Men who have raised the cry for freedom 
and liberty in ages past have always made up their minds to die for the realization of the dream. 
We who are assembled in this Convention as Delegates representing the Negroes of the world 
give out the same spirit that the fathers of liberty in this country gave out over one hundred years 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

We give out a spirit that knows no compromise, a spirit that refuses to turn back, a spirit that 
says "Liberty or Death", and in prosecution of this great ideal — the ideal of a free and redeemed 
Africa, men may scorn, men may spurn us, and may say that we are on the wrong side of life, but 
let me tell you that way in which you are travelling is just the way all peoples who are free have 
travelled in the past. If you want Liberty you yourselves must strike the blow. If you must be free 
you must become so through your own effort, through your own initiative. Those who have 
discouraged you in the past are those who have enslaved you for centuries and it is not expected 
that they will admit that you have a right to strike out at this late hour for freedom, liberty and 

At no time in the history of the world, for the last five hundred years, was there ever a serious 
attempt made to free Negroes. We have been camouflaged into believing that we were made free 
by Abraham Lincoln. That we were made free by Victoria of England, but up to now we are still 
slaves, we are industrial slaves, we are social slaves, we are political slaves, and the new Negro 
desires a freedom that has no boundary, no limit. We desire a freedom that will lift us to the 
common standard of all it men, whether they be white men of Europe or yellow men of Asia, 
therefore, in our desire to lift ourselves to that standard we shall stop at nothing until there is a 
free and redeemed Africa. 

I understand that just at this time while we are endeavoring to create public opinion and public 
sentiment in favor of a free Africa, that others of our race are being subsidized to turn the 
attention of the world toward a different desire on the part of Negroes, but let me tell you that we 
who make up this Organization know no turning back, we have pledged ourselves even unto the 
last drop of our sacred blood that Africa must be free. The enemy may argue with you to show 
you the impossibility of a free and redeemed Africa, but I want you to take as your argument the 
thirteen colonies of America, that once owed their sovereignty to Great Britain, that sovereignty 
has been destroyed to make a United States of America. George Washington was not God 
Almighty. He was a man like any Negro in this building, and if he and his associates were able to 
make a free America, we too can make a free Africa. Hampden, Gladstone, Pitt and Disraeli 
were not the representatives of God in the person of Jesus Christ. They were but men, but in their 
time they worked for the expansion of the British Empire, and today they boast of a British 
Empire upon which "the sun never sets." As Pitt and Gladstone were able to work for the 
expansion of the British Empire, so you and I can work for the expansion of a great African 
Empire Voltaire and Mirabeau were not Jesus Christ, they were but men like ourselves. They 
worked and overturned the French Monarchy. They worked for the Democracy which France 
now enjoys, and if they were able to do that, we are able to work for a democracy in Africa. 
Lenin and Trotsky were not Jesus Christ, but they were able to overthrow the despotism of 
Russia, and today they have given to the world a Social Republic, the first of its kind. If Lenin 
and Trotsky were able to do that for Russia, you and I can do that for Africa. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

Therefore, let no man, let no power on earth, turn you from this sacred cause of liberty. I prefer 
to die at this moment rather than not to work for the freedom of Africa. If liberty is good for 
certain sets of humanity it is good for all. Black men, Colored men, Negroes have as much right 
to be free as any other race that God Almighty ever created, and we desire freedom that is 
unfettered, freedom that is unlimited, freedom that will give us a chance and opportunity to rise 
to the fullest of our ambition and that we cannot get in countries where other men rule and 

We have reached the time when every minute, every second must count for something done, 
something achieved in the cause of Africa. We need the freedom of Africa now; therefore, we 
desire the kind of leadership that will give it to us as quickly as possible. You will realize that not 
only individuals, but governments are using their influence against us. But what do we care 
about the unrighteous influence of any government? Our cause is based upon righteousness. And 
anything that is not righteous we have no respect for, because God Almighty is Our leader and 
Jesus Christ our standard bearer. We rely on them for that kind of leadership that win make us 
free, for it is the same God who inspired the Psalmist to write "Princes shall come out of Egypt 
and Ethiopia shall stretch out her hands unto God". At this moment methinks I see Ethiopia 
stretching forth her hands unto God and methinks I see the Angel of God taking up the standard 
of the Red, the Black and the Green, and saying "Men of the Negro Race, Men of Ethiopia, 
follow me". Tonight we are following. We are following 400,000,000 strong. We are following 
with a determination that we must be free before the wreck of matter, before the crash of worlds. 

It falls to our lot to tear off the shackles that bind Mother Africa. Can you do it? You did it in the 
Revolutionary War. You did it in the Civil War; you did it at the Battles of the Marne and 
Verdun; You did it in Mesopotamia. You can do it marching up the battle heights of Africa. Let 
the world know that 400,000,000 Negroes are prepared to die or live as free men. Despise us as 
much as you care. Ignore us as much as you care. We are coming 400,000,000 strong. We are 
coming with our woes behind us, with the memory of suffering behind us — woes and suffering 
of three hundred years — they shall be our inspiration. My bulwark of strength in the conflict for 
freedom in Africa will be the three hundred years of persecution and hardship left behind in this 
Western Hemisphere. The more I remember the suffering of my fore-fathers, the more I 
remember the lynchings and burnings in the Southern States of America, the more I will fight on 
even though the battle seems doubtful. Tell me that I must turn back, and I laugh you to scorn. 
Go on! Go on! Climb ye the heights of liberty and cease not in well doing until you have planted 
the banner of the Red, the Black and the Green on the hilltops of Africa. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

Statement on Arrest 
January, 1922 

I believe that true justice is to be found in the conscience of the people, and when one is deprived 
of it by the machinations and designs of the corrupt, there can be no better tribunal of appeal than 
that of public opinion, which gives voice to conscience and that is why I now appeal to the 
conscience of the American people for justice. 

I believe that all races have their peculiar characteristics, the Jew fights the Jew, the Irish fights 
the Irish, the Italian fights the Italian, and so we have the Negro fighting the Negro. As a Negro 
schooled in the academy of adversity, with the majority of my race, I have ever had a wholesale 
desire to work for the race's uplift. Recently out of slavery, we have had but a meager chance to 
rise to the higher heights of human development as a people. At Emancipation we were flung 
upon the civilized world without a program. Unlike the Irish and the Jew we had no national 
aspiration of our own. We were left to the tender mercies of philanthropists and humanitarians 
who helped us to the best of their ability. 

In the Negro's struggle to get somewhere every member of the race took a selfish course all his 
own. There was no group program or group interest. The only cause that held us together as a 
people was religion. During the days of slavery Religion was the only consolation of the Negro, 
and then it was given to him by his masters. Immediately after the Emancipation, when the 
Negro was thrown back upon his own resources, the illiterate race preacher took charge of us, 
and with the eye of selfishness he exploited the zeal of the religious. Our emotions were worked 
upon by our illiterate preacher — leaders of the early days. 

The masses of us having found new employment for which we received pay, were able to 
contribute to the partial upkeep of our own church life, thus making it profitable for the 
preachers of our race to exploit us in the name of God, without giving us a program by which we 
could redeem ourselves. 

After the illiterate preacher — leader, came the illiterate race-politician who also had no program 
for the higher temporal development of the race. He, like the preacher, had his selfish plans of 
using and feeding upon the emotions of the people. These two illiterate parasites, who extracted 
all that was worthwhile from the people travelled hand in hand until we reached the first mile 
stone of higher intelligence, then the illiterate preacher and politician had to give way to a more 
intelligent class, who, unfortunately, with only a few exceptions, scattered here and there, 
followed and are still following in the footsteps of the old preachers and politicians to plunder 
and exploit the masses, because they had no vision. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

And now I come to the source of my troubles, in fighting the battles of the masses. I come to the 
people in the role of the reformer and say to them, "A wake! the day is upon you, go forth in the 
name of the race and build yourselves a nation, redeem your country Africa, the land from 
whence you came and prove yourselves men worthy of the recognition of others". 
This is the offence I have committed against the selfish Negro preachers and politicians who 
have for more than half a century waxed fat at the expense of the people. The shout goes up, "We 
cannot allow Garvey to preach his reformation and expose us to the people. The people will 
become too wise. We will lose our standing among them and they will not support us. We must 
"get" Garvey. We must discredit him before the people. We cannot do it ourselves, because we 
have no power. We will frame him up; we will lay traps for him; we will state all manner of 
charges against him to the various departments of government so that the government will 
prosecute him for us." 

Such have been the ravings, machinations and designs of a certain class of Negro politicians and 
preachers against me because of my reform work of three and a half years among my people that 
has over four million followers. 

Jews, Irish and Reformers of all races have had their troubles and trials with their own people, so 
I am satisfied to bear the persecution of my own that they might be free. 
I trust no one from the people would believe that I could be so mean as to defraud a fellow 
Negro, either directly or indirectly. I have an ideal that is far above money, and that is to see my 
people really free. 

Others of my race oppose me because they fear my influence among the people, and they judge 
me from their own corrupt, selfish consciences. There is an old adage that says, "A thief does not 
like to see another man carrying a long bag", and thus the dishonest ones of our preachers and 
politicians believing that I am of their stamp, try to embarrass me by framing me up with the law. 
I have had to dismiss from the employ of the Association, and caused the arrest of many 
dishonest preachers and politicians, and now their fraternities are out for revenge. 
Poor misguided mortals! How can they, when the conscience and soul of a man cannot be 
incriminated from without? 

The Negro Ministry needs purging and with the help of God and the people, we shall in a short 
while, show to the world a new race by the purification of those who lead. 

I desire to say that I have a great amount of confidence in several of the preachers and politicians 
of my race today, but the great majority need purging, because among them we have gamblers, 
thieves, rogues, vagabonds and these are the ones who are fighting me at this time. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook 

Closing Regret 

There has never been a movement where the leader has not suffered for the cause, and not 
received the ingratitude of the people. I, like the rest, am prepared for the consequence. 

The following preamble to the constitution, of the Organization, was written by the Founder and 
speaks for itself: — 

The Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities' League is a social, 
friendly, humanitarian, charitable, educational, institutional, constructive and expansive society, 
and is founded by persons, desiring to the utmost, to work for the general uplift of the Negro 
peoples of the world. And the members pledge themselves to do all in their power to conserve 
the rights of their noble race and to respect the rights of all mankind, believing always in the 
brotherhood of man and the fatherhood of God. The motto of the organization is: "One God! One 
Aim! One Destiny!" Therefore, let justice be done to all mankind, realizing that if the strong 
oppresses the weak confusion and discontent will ever mark the path of man, but with love, faith 
and charity towards all the reign of peace and plenty will be heralded into the world and the 
generations of men shall be called blessed. 


Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey 
The Journal of Pan African Studies 2009 eBook